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Mehul Choksi was kidnapped, didn't go to Dominica of his free will: Lawyer

Mehul Choksi was kidnapped, didn't go to Dominica of his own free will, said fugitive diamantaire's lawyer Vijay Aggarwal

Mehul Choksi | Dominican Republic | Gitanjali Gems


Mehul Choksi

was kidnapped, didn't go to Dominica of his own free will, said fugitive diamantaire's lawyer Vijay Aggarwal said on Wednesday and added that the only question in front of the Dominican court is where he entered Dominica illegally or not and whether the local police has the right to keep him in custody.

Aggarwal said that according to Dominican law, any arrested accused has to be presented before the court in 72 hours and added that because Choki was not presented in court within the prescribed time, the court has ordered to produce him before the magistrate at 4 pm (Dominica time).

"The only question before the court is that whether he entered Dominica illegally or not, whether he's liable to be detained. Whether Dominican police have the right to keep him in custody. How'll he be deported isn't a question before the court," he said.

"We said that he was kidnapped and didn't go to Dominica of his own free will. Here under section 6 of Dominica's Passport and Immigration Act, he is not a prohibited immigrant, therefore he has not committed any crime and Dominica police cannot arrest him," the lawyer added.

Aggarwal claimed that the hearing in matter in Dominica court is over.

"On the basis of Magistrate's order, the discussion will resume in court tomorrow. It proved our stand that Dominican police committed illegality by not producing him within 72 hours. The court agreed and said irregularity needs to be corrected," the lawyer added.

Choksi and his nephew are accused in the Rs 13,500 crore Punjab Bank fraud case. Choksi 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.

Antigua police launched a manhunt for last month after his lawyer said that family members were worried as Choksi was missing. He was apprehended in Dominica and is in the custody of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the country.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Thu, June 03 2021. 06:13 IST