MUMBAI: A court here on Saturday refused to cancel a non-bailable warrant issued by the Enforcement Directorate against fugitive diamond merchant Mehul Choksi, a key accused in the alleged Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam.
Special judge for Prevention of Money Laundering Act cases V C Barde refused to give relief to Choksi.
Choksi had moved the court last year seeking cancellation of the warrant issued by the ED.
He could not travel to India because of his ill-health and also because there was a threat to his life, he had pleaded.
He did not intend to cheat and flee but left the country for treatment of his medical condition, he had claimed.
The court will now hear the ED's petition seeking to declare him a Fugitive Economic Offender (FEO) under the newly enacted Fugitive Economic Offenders Act.
The declaration will pave the way for confiscation of his properties.
The special court on Friday declared Choksi' nephew and another key accused in the scam, Nirav Modi, as FEO.
Nirav Modi was arrested in London in March 2019, and the extradition process against him is pending.
As per the investigating agencies, Modi and Choksi, in connivance with some bank officials, duped PNB of Rs 14,000 crore by obtaining Letters of Undertaking (LoUs) fraudulently.
An LoU is a bank guarantee under which a bank can allow its customer to raise money from another Indian bank's foreign branch.