Mehul Choksi Can’t Be Deported Yet, Says Dominica Court
Mehul Choksi's repatriation stayed by Dominica court after his lawyer passed Habeas Corpus petition
A Dominica court has put a stay on the repatriation of fugitive Mehul Choksi. This was after Choksi’s legal team in Dominica filed a Habeas Corpus petition and highlighted that he was denied legal rights and was not allowed to meet his lawyers initially. They also claimed that “marks of torture” have been reported on his body. The lawyers added that Mehul Choksi was “forcefully picked up” from Antigua and Barbuda against his wishes.
The court order read, “This order is to be served immediately on the Defendants by email and fax and in person, and the Head of Immigration at the Douglas Charles Airport by email and fax. The court will hold the next hearing in the matter on May 28 (9 am local time).”
Choksi is currently in the custody of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in Dominica. Dominica is not among the 58 countries with which India has either extradition treaties or arrangements. So a decision of where a fugitive will be repatriated depends on local authorities.
The fugitive diamantaire was arrested in the Caribbean island nation. He was caught while trying to escape to Cuba from Antigua, where he had been living since 2018. Choksi is wanted in India in multicrore PNB scam. Mehul Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi are wanted for allegedly siphoning off Rs 13,500 crore of public money from PNB.
For the unversed, Habeas Corpus is a writ under which a person under arrest has to be brought before a judge or into a court particularly to secure his/her release unless lawful grounds are shown for their detention.