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Mehul Choksi produced before magistrate to answer charges of illegal entry into Dominica

Diamantaire Mehul Choksi was produced earlier than a Justice of the Peace in Dominica to reply prices of his unlawful entry into the Caribbean island nation following a excessive courtroom order on Wednesday, native media reported.

He appeared earlier than the Justice of the Peace on a wheel chair in a blue T-shirt and black shorts.

Earlier within the day, Dominica Excessive Courtroom Decide Bernie Stephenson issued the order for his manufacturing earlier than a Justice of the Peace after practically three hours of listening to on a habeas corpus petition filed on behalf of the businessman who had claimed that he was kidnapped from neighbouring Antigua and Barbuda and forcefully delivered to the Caribbean Island nation.

She adjourned the habeas corpus matter until Thursday, Dominica News On-line reported.

Rejecting the submission of Choksi who is needed in India in an alleged Rs 13,500 crore mortgage fraud case in Punjab Nationwide Financial institution and has an Interpol Purple Discover towards him,, the prosecution mentioned the habeas corpus petition doesn’t stand as he had illegally entered the nation and was subsequently detained.

His legal professionals, nonetheless, alleged that he was kidnapped from Jolly Harbour in Antigua and delivered to Dominica on a ship, about 100 nautical miles away.

“Our stand that Mr Mehul Choksi is in unlawful detention as he was required to be produced inside 72 hours earlier than the Justice of the Peace and was not so produced has been vindicated. So as to treatment this, he has been requested to be produced earlier than the Justice of the Peace. This establishes unlawful detention of Mr Mehul Choksi as pleaded by the defence,” Choksi’s lawyer Vijay Aggarwal mentioned.

“The matter being heard is of habeas corpus petition…and never of his repatriation to India. His citizenship is just not in query earlier than the courtroom…. Opposite to quite a few media experiences, there was no dialogue concerning Authorities of India,” Aggarwal mentioned.

The diamantaire, who mysteriously went lacking on Might 23 from Antigua and Barbuda the place he had been staying since 2018 as a citizen, was detained in neighbouring Dominica for unlawful entry after a attainable romantic escapade together with his rumoured girlfriend.

Choksi’s spouse Preeti advised reporters that the lady in query was not his girlfriend.

She mentioned the lady was identified to him and used to go on walks with him.

She mentioned Choksi was kidnapped by folks trying like Indian and Antiguan when he had gone to fulfill the lady.

Throughout Wednesday’s trial, Choksi was current via video-conferencing from Dominica China Friendship Hospital whereas his legal professionals have been current bodily in courtroom.

The decide requested authorities to share courtroom paperwork with Choksi who’s admitted on the Hospital.

His legal professionals mentioned that he doesn’t really feel protected in police custody and that he needs to be despatched again to Antigua and Barbuda, native media reported.

He additionally mentioned he would pay for his safety and raised the difficulty of harm marks discovered on his physique and him being hospitalised.

In case of an hostile order, Choksi has the choice of interesting in larger courts.

Final week, the Authorities of Dominica had issued a press assertion that it was verifying the standing of Choksi’s citizenship with Antigua and Barbuda.

“As soon as the knowledge is supplied by the Antigua authorities, attainable preparations can be made for Mr. Mehul Choksi to be repatriated to Antigua,” the assertion had mentioned.

A crew of multi-agency officers led by a CBI DIG has gone to Dominica to carry Choksi to India if courtroom there clears his deportation to India, officers mentioned.

Choksi’s arrest has created turbulence within the calm political waters of the neighbouring Caribbean Island international locations — Antigua and Barbuda and Dominica –the place allegations have been levelled towards opposition events supporting the businessman having an Interpol Purple Discover towards him.

Dominican Chief of Opposition Lennox Linton needed to subject a denial on the experiences of assembly Chetan Choksi, the brother of Mehul Choksi, or receiving any cash from him.

“I have no idea Chetan Choksi. I’ve by no means seen him. I’ve by no means spoken to him. I’ve by no means met with him,” Dominica News On-line quoted a video message launched by Linton.

Native media outlet Affiliate Occasions had alleged that Choksi arrived on a personal jet on Might 29 and met Linton at his residence in Marigot locality the following day for practically two hours the place he gave token cash of USD 2 lakh and promised funding for elections in return for elevating the difficulty in Parliament.

The outlet alleged that Linton was quiet on the Mehul Choksi affair until assembly his brother Chetan. After the assembly, he began assaults on the federal government over the arrest of the fugitive diamantaire.

Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi are needed for allegedly siphoning Rs 13,500 crore of public cash from the state-run Punjab Nationwide Financial institution (PNB) utilizing letters of endeavor.

Whereas Modi is in a London jail after being repeatedly denied bail and is contesting his extradition to India, Choksi took citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda in 2017 utilizing the Citizenship by Funding programme earlier than fleeing India within the first week of January 2018. The rip-off got here to gentle subsequently.

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