Mehul Choksi Is ‘Nonetheless Indian Citizen’: Indian Authorities Inform Dominica Courtroom Whereas His Lawyer Stresses On ‘New Proof’

New Delhi: The Indian authorities, who are continuing to make efforts to bring back Mehul Choksi to India, have filed an affidavit before the Dominica High Court stating the fugitive diamantaire is still an Indian citizen and is erroneously claiming renunciation of the Indian Citizenship under the Citizenship Act, 1955.

“The Government of India has already raised the issue of cancellation of citizenship of Mehul Choksi granted by Antigua Government on the ground that citizenship was fraudulently obtained by him as he was wanted by law enforcement agencies for probe of the crime committed in India,” the affidavit filed by the Indian authorities in the Dominica court stated.

The affidavit states Choksi’s “Indian citizenship has still not ceased as on date and his claim of renunciation of Indian citizenship is contrary to the laws in India as is completely erroneous”.

“Thus, the claim of Mehul Choksi being bogus,” the affidavit adds.

Ahead of the hearing, his lawyer contended that two new pieces of evidence have come to light to show that his “abduction” was pre-planned – alleged “decoy” Barbara Jarabik had asked an AirbnB agent whether the property she was inquiring was booked by a UK travel agency, and video evidence shows the arrival and departure in Jolly Harbour of the boat upon which the bound and gagged diamantaire was taken out to sea to be transferred to the larger ship for the “unlawful journey” to Dominica.

Michael Polak, part of the legal team representing Choksi, said: “In April 2021 what may have been a reconnaissance trip or failed kidnap attempt took place” adding that four individuals travelled to the Caribbean from London in April and one of these was Jarabik, the person who Choksi accuses of luring him to the spot where he was attacked and kidnapped in May.

“The April trip may have been a dress rehearsal for the May kidnapping because exactly what happened on that occasion, including Jarabik and her handler leaving Dominica by private jet, took place on May 23 when Choksi was kidnapped,” he claimed.

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The Dominica High Court had last week denied bail to Choksi wanted in India on Rs 13,500 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud charges on the grounds that he is a flight risk.

The Dominica High Court also pointed out how Choksi proposed that he will stay with his brother in the hotel, but that is not a fixed address. The court also noted that his trial has not started yet.

Choksi, who mysteriously went missing on May 23 from Antigua and Barbuda where he has been staying since 2018 as a citizen, alleged that he was abducted from Antigua by the Indian and Antiguan police officers along with his woman friend Barbara Jarabica.

Currently, Choksi has got interim relief from immediate repatriation to India by the Dominican court. While arguing, Choksi’s Counsel cited medical grounds for bail and dismissed flight risk.

In his letter to Antigua Police, Choksi claimed being abducted from the home of Barbara Jarabica and taken to Dominica on a boat. Jarabica then came out openly talked about this entire alleged abduction claims and divulged information about his plan of visiting Cuba.

Later, the Dominican government declared him as a ‘prohibited immigrant’. The Dominican National Security and Home Affairs Ministry has directed the police to take necessary action to remove Choksi from Dominica as per the procedure.

On the other hand, his lawyer Vijay Aggarwal claimed last week that Choksi did not enter Dominica illegally and the police cannot arrest him as he is not a “prohibited immigrant”.

Choksi along with his nephew Nirav Modi is accused in the PNB fraud case.

(With Inputs From Agencies)

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