India closely monitoring legal proceedings against Mehul Choksi, Nirav Modi: MEA

Choksi, who is currently in Dominica facing trial, went missing from Antigua on May 23 and was caught in Dominica. Meanwhile, Nirav Modi is currently held at Wandsworth prison in South London.
Nirav Modi (L) and (R) Mehul Choksi (Photos | Facebook, PTI)
Nirav Modi (L) and (R) Mehul Choksi (Photos | Facebook, PTI)

NEW DELHI: India on Friday said that it is closely monitoring legal proceedings against fugitive businessmen Mehul Choksi, and Nirav Modi.

In a media briefing, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, "We are of course closely monitoring the ongoing legal proceedings in both cases," when asked about the latest update on Mehul and Nirav.

Choksi, who is currently in Dominica facing trial, went missing from Antigua on May 23 and was caught in Dominica. He was charged with illegal entry into Dominica by police after he allegedly fled Antigua and Barbuda in a possible attempt to avoid extradition to India. The 62-year-old fugitive is wanted in India in connection with the Rs 13,500 crore fraud in Punjab National Bank.

Meanwhile, Nirav Modi is currently held at Wandsworth prison in South London where he has been lodged since his arrest in London in March 2019 in connection with the largest bank fraud perpetrated in India.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday transferred seized assets worth Rs 9,371.17 crore in cases related to Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi, and Choksi, to public sector banks and the central government. Assets worth Rs 18,170.02 crore have so far been seized by the ED.

Further, Bagchi also answered on the Indian objections on social media posts that targeted the Indian diplomats in Male.

He said, "Maldives Foreign Ministry today issued a statement on the matter. The Maldivian Democratic Party has also issued a statement. I think that answers the question."

Maldives Foreign Ministry has requested local media to work in such a way that the country's diplomatic relations with other countries are not affected. The Foreign Ministry made the request while the Indian High Commission in the Maldives has requested the ministry to take action against local media that publish content that criticizes India, reported AVAS.

A statement issued by the Foreign Ministry on Friday said recurring content recently published by some local media have targeted foreign ambassadors to the Maldives, diplomatic missions, and the member of the missions, and that such malicious content massacre the dignity of said individuals.

Such actions will affect the age-old relationships the Maldives enjoys with its bilateral partners and will create enmity and hatred in the hearts of Maldivian citizens towards its diplomatic partners.

Such actions will also endanger the diplomats and puts them at risk, while also affecting their performance and efficiency, said the statement.

The statement also referred to article 29 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, which states that the receiving state of any diplomatic state must treat the agent with due respect, and take all appropriate steps to prevent any attack on his person, freedom, and dignity.

Therefore, all media are encouraged to work within the boundaries set by the international convention and in such a way that bilateral relations with foreign countries are not affected, said the statement.

AVAS has seen a copy of the written request sent to the Foreign Ministry by the Indian High Commission requesting to take action against local media.

The letter expressed concern over some articles published by local media and how they portrayed the neighbouring country in an unpleasant light.

It also said the High Commission's work was being hindered due to the articles, and that it attacked the dignity of the Indian High Commissioner to the Maldives, Sanjay Sudhir. Therefore, action must be taken against media that publish such content, the letter said, reported AVAS.

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