NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday asked a Gujarat-based petitioner to publish in newspapers its notice sent to fugitive businessman and Gitanjali Gems promoter, Mehul Choksi in an alleged cheating case.
On the last date of hearing, the notice was sent to Choksi and his wife seeking their response on the plea filed by jeweller Digvijaysinh Himmatsinh challenging a Gujarat High Court order quashing FIR against him in the case.
A bench headed Justice Deepak Gupta was informed by advocate Shubhranshu Padhi, appearing for the jeweller, that the notice couldn't be served to the accused as they were not in the country.
To this, Justice Gupta said he read in newspapers that Choksi was in Antigua and Barbuda and directed him to get the court's notice published in newspapers and also paste a copy of it on Choksi's last known address.
The jeweller allegedly invested over 105 kg gold in a firm on Choksi's promise for high returns under an investment scheme and alleged cheating.
The jeweller has alleged that High Court, in its May 2017 order, erred in quashing the FIR when the same clearly disclosed cognisable offences against Choksi.
Himmat Sinh, in his appeal, said Choksi had the intention to cheat him from the "inception of the transaction and made false representations to him and induced him to become a channel partner or investor"."105.853 Kg gold bars were deposited with the company of the Choksi pursuant to the agreements entered into between the parties with the knowledge of all the officials of the company, including Choksi. As per the agreements entered into between the parties, it was stipulated that in the event of termination of the agreements, the gold bars deposited were to be returned to the petitioner's firm. However, the same was not done and the accused misappropriated the gold bars," the appeal stated.It added, "Choksi in collusion with the other accused have misappropriated 105.853 Kg gold Bars which were kept in a fiduciary capacity with GJRL and which has not been returned despite demands. Further, the minimum guarantee and other expenses to the tune of Rs 19,42,37,743 have also been misappropriated by him," stated the plea.
It added that after taking benefit of the transactions and accepting the gold bars, Choksi and other accused are now seeking to terminate the agreements as fraudulent and this in itself shows the intention to commit cheating and/or breach of trust against him.
The petition also said that Choksi fabricated and forged documents to cheat him.
Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi are accused in the Rs 13,500 crore Punjab National Bank fraud case and fled the country a year ago. He was granted citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda on January 15, 2018.
Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne on Wednesday (local time) said Choksi will be extradited after he exhausts all his appeals in the country.