Mehul Choksi to Bombay High Court: Didn’t flee India, will return once medically fit

Mumbai: Diamantaire Mehul Choksi, a key accused in the multi-crore PNB bank scam, Monday told the Bombay High Court that he left India for his medical treatment abroad and not to avoid prosecution in the case.

Choksi, currently based in the Caribbean nation of Antigua, told the high court that he would return to India as soon as he is medically fit to travel. The Enforcement Directorate (ED), which has moved a special PMLA court here to get Choksi declared a fugitive economic offender, has accused the jeweller of fleeing the country to avoid his arrest.

Choksi filed an affidavit Monday through his advocate Vijay Aggarwal, stating he had left the country in January 2018 for his medical check-up and treatment.

Choksi claimed he left the country on January 4, 2018, while as per the Punjab National Bank, the alleged fraud came to their knowledge on January 16, 2018.

“Hence, the allegations that I left the country to avoid criminal prosecution is without any basis as the PNB itself came to know about the alleged fraudulent issuance of Letters of Undertaking only on January 16, 2018,” Choksi said. “By that time, I had left the country for medical treatment,” he said.

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