New Delhi: Denying media reports regarding the revocation of fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi’s citizenship by an Antiguan civil court, his advocate Vijay Aggarwal said Choksi is still very much an Antiguan citizen and his citizenship has not been revoked. “My client Mehul Choksi has clarified that he is very much an Antiguan citizen. His citizenship has not been revoked,” Aggarwal said. Also Read - ED Brings Back Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi’s Jewellery Worth Rs 1,350 Crore From Hong Kong to India
Mehul Choksi is currently fighting revocation of his citizenship in an Antiguan civil court as Antigua cancelled his citizenship sometime last year. Also Read - Mehul Choksi Conned Delhi-based Punjab & Sind Bank of Rs 44 Crore: Report
Lionel Hurst, Chief of Staff to Antigua Prime Minister Gaston Browne, said Mehul Choksi had taken legal recourse and it would take about seven years to resolve the matter. Also Read - 'Mehul Choksi a Crook, Indian Officials Free to Probe Him,' Says Antigua PM | Watch
Speaking to India Today, Lionel Hurst said, “Antigua and Barbuda has attempted to withdraw or revoke the citizenship of Mehul Choksi. However, he has entered a lawsuit in the High Court of Antigua and Barbuda. This matter will take about seven years to be resolved. With enough money to pursue these legal challenges, 2027 is the earliest for a final resolution.”
The report added that as soon as Choksi exhausts his appeal against the revocation of citizenship order, his extradition proceedings will begin as Antiguan Prime Minister Gaston Browne has already assured India of sending him back.
Earlier, Antiguan Prime Minister Gaston Browne had said, the citizenship of fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi, an accused in the multi-crore Punjab National Bank scam, will be revoked and he will be extradited to India once all his legal options are exhausted.
Choksi, 61-year-old is an Indian-born businessman, residing in Antigua and Barbuda and wanted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED).
Earlier, Choksi in an interview to ANI, had claimed that he is innocent and all allegations against him are false, baseless and motivated by political expediency.
Choksi holds Antiguan citizenship and is the owner of Gitanjali Group, a retail jewellery company. An arrest warrant for Choksi has been issued in connection with the alleged Punjab National Bank fraud case. He was allegedly involved in stock market manipulation in 2013.
Recently Nirav Modi, nephew of Choksi was ordered to be extradited to India from the United Kingdom to face charges of conspiring to defraud PNB of more than a billion dollars, a UK judge ruled.
(With ANI inputs)