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Mehul Choksi Case: Centre Takes Legal Advice from Harish Salve, Ex-Solicitor General May Appear for India

File Photo of Lawyer Harish Salve

File Photo of Lawyer Harish Salve

Dominica High Court on Thursday adjourned the hearing on a habeas corpus petition filed on behalf of diamond trader Mehul Choksi.

India is seeking counsel from Former Solicitor General of India, Harish Salve (Queen’s Counsel) on the Mehul Choksi case.

Salve will also present India’s case before the High Court in Dominica, where Choksi is being held for illegally entering the country.

In a statement on Monday, Harish Salve said, “I am advising the government of India on what steps to take in the Mehul Choksi case." “Government of India is not a party appearing in the Dominican court. We are only helping the Dominican authorities," Salve added.

He went on to say, “If India is given an audience, and the Attorney General agrees to my admission to their bar, l will appear for India."

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Prior to this, Harish Salve was the lead counsel for India at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case.

Dominica High Court on Thursday adjourned the hearing on a habeas corpus petition filed on behalf of diamond trader Mehul Choksi, local media reported. Judge Bernie Stephenson will decide the next date of hearing after meeting both sides, Antigua News Room said.

The adjournment is to allow lawyers for Choksi and the Dominica Government “to agree on the language to be used with respect to the injunction filed to prevent his removal from Dominica", the media outlet reported. The hearing took place through video-conferencing with a group of protesters standing outside the High Court Building in Roseau carrying placards with messages seeking to know the truth about the controversy.

“Who brought Choksi to Dominica?" read one of the placards, the photo of which was published by many media outlets. The High Court is hearing the habeas corpus petition filed by Choksi’s lawyers.

A habeas corpus petition is filed for producing before a court a person who is under arrest or in unlawful detention. The judge had on Wednesday ordered production of Choksi before a magistrate to face charges of illegal entry into Dominica.

The 62-year-old wheelchair-bound diamantaire, having a pending Interpol Red Notice against him, arrived before the Roseau Magistrate Court from the Dominica China Friendship Hospital where he is undergoing treatment. Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi had fled India in the first week of January 2018 weeks before a Rs 13,500 crore scam in Punjab National Bank rocked Indian banking industry.

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first published:June 08, 2021, 10:57 IST