A magistrate court of Dominica has rejected the bail application of fugitive businessman Mehul Choksi, in connection with his illegal entry into the island nation. The diamantaire was arrested in Dominica last month after he went missing from Antigua and Barbuda. Soon after the judgement, his lawyer said that they will appeal in a higher court against the judgement. “We will move the upper court,” said Vijay Aggarwal, Choksi’s lawyer.
Choksi appeared for the hearing before the magistrate on a wheelchair in a blue T-shirt and black shorts. He has been sent to the hospital where he will continue to receive the treatment for injuries sustained.
Earlier yesterday, the Dominica High Court had ordered his production before a magistrate court after hearing a habeas corpus petition filed on behalf of the businessman. Choksi had claimed that he was abducted from Antigua and Barbuda and forcefully brought to the Caribbean Island nation. Choksi’s lawyers alleged that the businessman was kidnapped from Jolly Harbour in Antigua.
The prosecution contended that the habeas corpus petition does not stand in the case as Choksi had entered Dominica illegally and was subsequently detained. Choksi’s lawyer Vijay Aggarwal had claimed that production before the magistrate court has vindicated their stand that Mehul Choksi is in illegal detention.
The Public Prosecutor had submitted that Choksi should be deported to India while the businessman’s lawyers argued that he is not an Indian citizen of India as Article 9 of the Indian Constitution says that when a person acquires citizenship of another country, he/she will automatically cease to be a citizen of India.
The businessman had mysteriously disappeared on May 23 from Antigua and Barbuda and was detained in Dominica for illegal entry after a possible romantic escapade with his rumoured girlfriend. Choksi has been staying in Antigua and Barbuda since 2018 as a citizen after fleeing from India.
Choksi is wanted in India in an alleged Rs 13,500-crore loan fraud case in Punjab National Bank and has an Interpol Red Notice against him.