NEW DELHI: Central Bureau of Investigation, which is probing the PNB bank fraud case against fugitive businessman Mehul Choksi, filed an affidavit in Dominica High Court opposing his bail petition and said he "is and remains an international fugitive who continues to evade law enforcement in India".
The affidavit filed through Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of CBI Sharda Raut, who is leading Indian probe agencies in Dominica, apprised the court about the facts of the case pending in India against Choksi. The affidavit was filed on behalf of Indian probe agencies in Dominica High Court.
The affidavit stated that Choksi was the mastermind behind a series of companies, and he and others conspired with officials of the bank to unauthorizedly raise credit by abusing the procedures. On the complaint made by Indian government, a "red notice" has been issued against Choksi by the Interpol, CBI told the Dominica Court.
"Mehul Choksi is fully aware of proceedings in India. He has appointed lawyers in India and one of them recently gave a press interview about the happenings in Dominica supporting the version being advanced by Choksi. It is unfortunate that Choksi has suppressed all this from the court and has instead suggested that there are no proceedings against him in India," Indian probe agencies told the Dominica court.
After taking note of the facts of the case, the Dominica High Court dismissed Choksi's bail petition and noted that he is "flight risk". Choksi's counsel argued for bail citing medical grounds. However, Counsel for the State opposed the bail and told the court that Mehul Choksi is "flight risk" and has an Interpol red notice issued against him.
The 62-year-old fugitive businessman, who fled to Antigua and Barbuda, is wanted by the Indian probe agencies for allegedly cheating the Punjab National Bank of over Rs 13000 crore rupees, one of the largest bank frauds in the country.