Home / News / World /  Mehul Choksi's repatriation: What Antigua PM, Dominica court have to say

The case of fugitive-jeweller Mehul Choksi is turning to be a controversial issue with Antigua and Barbuda asking neighbouring Dominica to repatriate him to India, and the latter nation considering returning him to Antigua.

India, on the other hand, is making efforts to bring him back as soon as possible.

The fugitive businessman, who was residing in Antigua and Barbuda since 2018 after his escape from India, had gone missing on Sunday under mysterious circumstances. He was later "detained" in Dominica for illegal entry.

Following this, Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne had said that Dominica has agreed to Choksi's repatriation to India and Antigua will not accept him back.

"We have requested that he be detained and to make arrangements with Dominican govt to have him returned to India," said Browne.

Stand on repatriation

Now, the Antigua and Barbuda PM has said that it is ultimately a sovereign decision of the government of Dominica which country they will repatriate Mehul Choksi to.

"Ultimately, it is the sovereign decision of the government of Dominica as to which country they repatriate Mehul Choksi unless the court states otherwise," Browne was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Meanwhile, on the reports of Choksi's deportation to India, Dominica Police had said that he is still in custody and is being investigated.

Order of Dominica court

The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court In the High Court of Justice Commonwealth of Dominica on Friday put a stay on the repatriation of Choksi from Dominica.

"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," said the court.

Next hearing in the matter will be held on 28 May (local time).

Wayne Marsh, Choksi's lawyer in Dominica, earlier said that they were denied access to their client and it was only on May 27 that he was finally given access to speak to Choksi.

"I noticed that he was severely beaten, his eyes were swollen and had several burnt marks on his body. He reported to me that he was abducted at Jolly Harbour in Antigua and brought to Dominica by persons whom he believed to be Indian and Antiguan police on a vessel he described to be about 60-70 feet in length," Marsh told ANI.

On Thursday, the legal team of fugitive diamantaire Choksi filed a habeas corpus petition in Dominica and also highlighted his deprivation of access to legal assistance there, confirmed his lawyer in India, Vijay Aggarwal.

"The legal team has filed a habeas corpus petition in Dominica for Mehul Choksi and has also highlighted deprivation of access and constitutional rights to him for legal assistance," said Aggarwal.

Choksi's lawyer also claimed that "marks of torture" were reported on Choksi's body, who had allegedly fled Antigua some days ago and ended up in a neighbouring island country Dominica.

Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi are wanted in India for allegedly siphoning off 13,500 crore of public money from the state-run Punjab National Bank (PNB) using letters of undertaking.

With inputs from agencies.

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