New Delhi: The Prime Minister of Antigua, Gaston Brown, has said the citizenship of fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi will be revoked after his legal options are exhausted, according to a report in The Antigua Observer.
“His citizenship was processed; he got through but the reality is his citizenship will be revoked and he will be repatriated to India; so there is recourse. It’s not a case that we are trying to provide any safe harbour for criminals, for those who are involved in financial crimes,” the report quoted PM Brown as saying.
Choksi is wanted in India in the Rs13,000-crore Punjab National Bank scam.
“We have to allow for due process. He has a matter before the court and as we said to the Indian Government, criminals have fundamental rights, too, and Choksi has a right to go to court and defend his position. But I can assure you, after he has exhausted all of his legal options, he will be extradited,” the Antigua Prime Minister added.
Choksi was granted citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda in November 2017. He escaped from India in January 2018.
India’s foreign minister S Jaishankar on June 25 refused to comment on the reports. “I do not have information on the matter, I would not like to comment on it,” he said.
External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar on reports of Antigua revoking Mehul Choksi's citizenship: I do not have information on the matter, I would not like to comment on it. pic.twitter.com/R43gO5yfWf
— ANI (@ANI) June 25, 2019
Meanwhile, the Bombay High Court has asked a team of specialists from Mumbai’s JJ Hospital to submit a report on Choksi’s health condition, to ascertain whether he is fit to travel from Antigua to India for interrogation. The Bombay High Court has scheduled the matter for hearing on July 10.
This was after Choksi told the Bombay HC that he left India for medical check-up and not to avoid prosecution in the case. ED has offered to provide an air ambulance to bring him for trial.
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