The Bombay High Court has extended its interim relief order for Mehul Choksi in the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) case.
According to a report by Hindustan Times, the court restrained the special PMLA court from pronouncing its final order in the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) application seeking to declare Choksi as a fugitive economic offender (FEO) in the Punjab National Bank scam case.
The single-judge bench of Justice AS Gadkari extended the order after Choksi’s lawyer Vijay Aggarwal said they needed time to file a brief rejoinder in the case, a separate report by the Indian Express said.
The court directed Choksi to file it within two weeks and said that the matter would be heard after three weeks.
The ED had filed an application before a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court, seeking for Choksi to be declared a “fugitive economic offender” for evading summons to appear before the agency and that his properties be confiscated under the provisions of the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018.
Choksi later moved Bombay High Court seeking dismissal of the ED application. He had also sought a direction to the special court to permit him to cross-examine people on whose statements the ED is seeking to declare Choksi as a fugitive economic offender.
Meanwhile, Choksi’s UK-based lawyer has appealed to the Caribbean community to speak out on the alleged kidnapping of his client from Antigua to neighbouring Dominica where he is held in custody for illegal entry.
Michael Polak, Director of London-based Justice Abroad, has written to Caricom, a regional organisation of 15 countries and dependencies in Caribbean region, to take up the issue of Choksi.
Choksi, 62, who was arrested in Dominica is in judicial custody for illegal entry and is kept at Dominica China Friendship Hospital because of his poor health as his bail applications have been rejected by the courts there.
Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi allegedly defrauded the Punjab Nation Bank to the tune of Rs 13,500 crore and fled the country weeks before the scam came to light.