The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has informed a Mumbai court that it was willing to provide an air ambulance with medical experts to bring Mehul Choksi from Antigua to India and provide him with all necessary treatment in India.
Diamantaire Mehul Choksi, a key accused in the multi-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam, on Monday told the Bombay High Court that he left India for medical check-up and not to avoid prosecution in the case.
Choksi, currently based in the Caribbean nation of Antigua, filed an affidavit Monday through his advocate Vijay Aggarwal, stating he had left the country in January 2018 for getting medical check-up and treatment abroad.
The ED filed a counter affidavit saying that “the medical reasons and conditions appear to be facades being erected merely to mislead the court in an obvious attempt to delay the lawful proceedings”.
The probe agency in its rejoinder further said that Mehul Choksi was given several opportunities to join the probe but he evaded questioning.
“Choksi never cooperated in the investigation. A non-bailable warrant was issued against him. A Red Corner Notice was issued by the Interpol. He has refused to return, he is, therefore, a fugitive and an absconder,” the ED affidavit read.
Choksi had claimed that his assets worth Rs 6129 crore were seized, which the ED has denied saying that it had attached assets worth Rs 2100 crore only.
The Enforcement Directorate also asked the court to direct Mehul Choksi to file an affidavit showing his intentions to return to India at the earliest preferably within a month from the date of order. The agency said that he should mention the exact date of his intended return in his affidavit.
Choksi had earlier filed an affidavit in connection with two petitions submitted by him in the HC seeking dismissal of an application filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a special court for declaring him a fugitive economic offender.
In his petition, Choksi has said that claims of Enforcement Directorate & CBI, that he is not joining the probe are wrong. Citing his medical history, Choksi claims he cannot travel outside Antigua. However, he said ED and CBI can question him in Antigua.
Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi are wanted by the ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for allegedly defrauding the PNB to the tune of Rs 13,400 crore in collusion with a few employees of the government-run lender.
The multi-crore fraud came to light in early 2018.