Home/ News / India/  CBI seeks restoration of Red Notice against Mehul Choksi

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has asked the Commission for Control of Interpol's Files (CCF) to reinstate the Red Notice against fugitive diamantaire Mehul Chinubhai Choksi. Mehul Choksi is wanted in 13,000 crore bank fraud in Punjab National Bank (PNB), the agency said in a statement.

In 2018, the investigation agency and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had requested Interpol to issue a Red Notice against Mehul Choksi, which was later granted. Despite his appeals in 2020, the decision to issue the Red Notice remained unchanged.

In 2022, when he was allegedly abducted, Mehul Choksi approached the CCF to revise its earlier decision of 2020, the agency said. The CCF is a separate body within Interpol that is not under the control of Interpol Secretariat and is primarily staffed by elected lawyers from various nations.

“...based on mere imaginary conjunctures and unproven surmises, a five member CCF chamber, has taken a decision on deletion of Red Notice, communicated in November, 2022," the agency said.

Choksi's lawyer Vijay Aggarwal said that the decision of Interpol to take off the Red Corner Notice (RCN) was the result of efforts of his legal team on the genuine claim of the "kidnapping" of his client Choksi.

News agency ANI had quoted government sources saying that the removal of Mehul Chinubhai Choksi's name from the Interpol database of Red Notices will make the fugitive diamantaire eligible to travel at will to any other country, apart from India, where he faces multiple cases, according to government sources.

The agency's statement said the CCF has subsequently clarified to the CBI that its decision in no manner has any determination on any guilt or innocence of Mehul Chinubhai Choksi for crimes he remains charged in India.

“CCF has reiterated that it has not established factual certainties and there is no factual finding in their decision that Mehul Chinubhai Choksi will not have fair trial. Based on new information and serious errors in the decision, CBI is taking steps for the decision of CCF to be revised," it said.

The agency said the CBI has taken up with CCF the “serious shortcomings, procedural violations, over reach of mandate and mistakes committed by CCF" in the manner of reaching this unfounded and perfunctory decision.

“CBI continues to exercise available remedial and appellate options within Interpol for rectification of this faulty decision and for restoration of Red Notice," it said.

Red Corner Notices are issued against fugitives and is considered as a request to law enforcement agencies across the world to locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition, surrender, or similar legal action.

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Updated: 21 Mar 2023, 04:44 PM IST
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