Amicus for Mehul Choksi if he is no show in cheating case: SC

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday said it will appoint an amicus curiae to argue on behalf of fugitive businessman Mehul Choksi, if he does not show up in an case of alleged cheating against him.

A bench headed by Deepak Gupta has asked the petitioner, a Gujarat-based jeweller, to paste a notice on Choksi's last-known residence and publish it in a newspaper sent to the promoter of Gitanjali Gems.

According to advocate Shubhranshu Padhi, appearing for jeweller Digvijaysinh Himmatsinh, on the last day of hearing, the notice was sent to Choksi and his wife seeking their response on the plea filed against the Gujarat High Court's May 2017 order quashing the FIR against Choksi in the case.

The court observed that if Choksi fails to show up, then the amicus appointed on his behalf will be considered his representation in the court, and if required, the court will proceed against Choksi.

Padhi told the apex court the notice couldn't be served to the accused as they have already left the country.

Justice Gupta replied that he had read in the newspapers that Choksi was in the Caribbean island nation of Antigua.

Himmatsinh had allegedly invested over 105 kg gold in a firm on Choksi's promise for high returns under an investment scheme.

According to the petition, 105.853 kg of gold bars were deposited with Choksi's company under agreements entered into between the parties with the knowledge of all the officials of the company, including the accused.

As per the agreements entered into between the parties, it was stipulated that in the event of termination of the agreements, the gold bars deposited were to be returned to the petitioner's firm. "However, this was not done and the accused misappropriated the gold bars," Padhi contended.

The petition said: "High Court ought not to have quashed the criminal proceedings at the stage of investigation, by considering the defence and the material produced by the accused, which ought to have been raised and considered at the stage of trial."

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