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PNB fraud case: Mehul Choksi moves Bombay High Court against non-consideration of plea on health grounds

Fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi, accused in the over Rs 13,500-crore fraud at Punjab National Bank (PNB), has reportedly approached the Bombay High Court against non-consideration of plea regarding his inability to return to India due to health problems.

Choksi, who fled the country last year even before the PNB scam surfaced, reportedly approached the Bombay High Court against non-consideration of plea regarding his inability to return to India due to persisting health problems and denial of the right to cross-examination, Asian News International reported.

Choksi and his nephew diamantaire Nirav Modi are absconding after the biggest financial fraud came to light in February 2018 and are facing extradition from Antigua and Britain, respectively.

Last week, there were reports that the Choksi-run Gitanjali Gems, which owes over Rs 12,550 crore to 31 financial creditors besides being a key player in the PNB scam, was heading for liquidation after the committee of creditors voted to end the resolution process citing time over-run, PTI reported.

The committee of creditors met on 28 March, and with a majority of 54.14 percent, rejected a plea to continue with the resolution process, and instead chose to go in for liquidation, it added.

 PNB fraud case: Mehul Choksi moves Bombay High Court against non-consideration of plea on health grounds

File photo of Mehul Choksi. News18

Together the uncle-nephew duo have defrauded the state-run Punjab National Bank of Rs 14,000 crore between 2011 and 2017, using fake letters of undertaking through the bank's Brady House branch in south Mumbai's tony Horniman Circle area, which is a stone throw away from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) headquarters in Mumbai.

Last month, Choksi had moved a new application in the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in Mumbai, stating his long history of heart ailments and a blood clot in the brain, said a report in Deccan Chronicle.

This came after it was reported that the extradition process against the embattled diamond jeweller began in Antigua, the report said.

In December last year, the Interpol had issued a Red Corner Notice against Choksi on the request of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

In September, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had sent a reminder to Interpol about its application seeking a red corner notice against Choksi in connection with the alleged PNB money laundering case.

Choksi, who escaped in the first week of January last year after he and his companies cheated the bank of Rs 7,000 crore, took citizenship of Antigua.

In January this year, Choksi had given up his Indian citizenship and surrendered his passport to Antigua in an attempt to avoid extradition to India.

According to news reports, Choksi has also surrendered his Indian passport number Z-3396732 with cancelled pages to the Indian High Commission in Antigua. He has also deposited the mandatory $177 dollar for leaving Indian citizenship. He has given his new address as Jolly Harbour Marks, Antigua.

With PTI inputs

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Updated Date: Apr 24, 2019 16:24:37 IST