A magisterial court in Dominica has rejected the bail application of fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi in connection with his illegal entry into the country, reported news agency ANI on Thursday.
Following the hearing, Choksi’s lawyer Vijay Aggarwal told news agency ANI that they will appeal to the upper court. “Will move the upper court," said Vijay Aggarwal.
Choksi had gone missing from Antigua on May 23 after going out for dinner and was soon caught in Dominica after Antigua police launched a manhunt for the fugitive diamantaire last month. He was charged with illegal entry by the police in Dominica after he allegedly escaped from Antigua and Barbuda in a possible attempt to evade extradition to India.
The matter was brought before the court on Monday and after deliberations for just over three hours, the judge ruled that the application of habeas corpus be adjourned until 9 am Thursday. During the hearing, Dominican Judge Bernie Stephenson said that the fugitive businessman must answer the illegal entry charges into Dominica in Magistrates court.
The India-born fugitive is currently at the China Friendship Hospital. He came to the court in a wheelchair.
On Wednesday, Aggarwal had said that Mehul Choksi was kidnapped and he didn't go to Dominica of his own free will, adding that the only question in front of the Dominican court is where he entered Dominica illegally or not and whether the local police have the right to keep him in custody.
Meanwhile, Mehul's wife Priti Choksi on Wednesday said the woman who is rumoured to be his girlfriend is known to her husband and to his other acquaintances.
On the reports that fugitive diamantaire was tortured in Dominica, Priti said, "What has brought most anguish to the family is the physical torture and total disregard for the human rights of my husband. If someone really wanted him back alive, why did they need to torture and abuse him physically and mentally? My husband has many health issues."
Mehul Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi are accused in the Rs 13,500 crore Punjab National Bank fraud case. Mehul fled the country was granted citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda in January 2018. He is involved in a legal battle to prevent his extradition to India.
(With inputs from ANI and PTI)
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