Antiguan Prime Minister Gaston Browne’s statement on the intent to revoke the passport of diamantaire Mehul Choksi has raised hopes that the Indian fugitive’s extradition could happen soon. But is that anticipation premature? No doubt Browne’s comments suggest the Indian government’s efforts are bearing fruit, but there are hurdles still. Choksi has recourse to the Antiguan legal system, which could block his extradition. He could also legally challenge the Antiguan government if it revokes his citizenship. These legal processes could take a long time.

Choksi’s extradition could have been easier had there been a treaty between the two countries. Unfortunately, there isn’t one. The Central Bureau of Investigation has requested Antigua to send Choksi back to India under a United Nations Convention against Corruption to which both countries are party. While Browne’s statement has raised expectations of justice being meted out for an alleged bank fraud in India, the Indian government has refused to react until it gets official word from Antigua. That is perhaps the right thing to do. For now, the wait to get Choksi back seems likely to continue.

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