Dominica court stops removal of Mehul Choksi from country, says report

A court in Dominica has “restrained” authorities from removing fugitive businessman Mehul Choksi from the Caribbean island country till further orders, local media reported.

The order came on a petition filed by the lawyers of Choksi, who was detained in Dominica for “illegal entry”.

“The legal team has filed a habeas corpus petition in Dominica for Mehul Choksi and have also highlighted deprivation of access to Mehul Choksi and deprivation of constitutional rights to legal assistance,” Choksi’s lawyer Vijay Aggarwal told PTI.

The High Court of Justice in Dominica “restrained” the authorities from “ removing” Choksi till further orders and listed the matter for hearing on Friday (May 28 at 9 a.m. local time), Antigua News Room reported.

On Thursday, Aggarwal had raised doubts about the way Choksi had gone missing from Antigua and Barbuda only to be detained in Dominica, about 100 nautical miles away, for illegal entry.

Choksi’s lawyer in Dominica, Wayne Marsh, had told a radio show that in a brief interaction with his client, allowed by authorities after a lot of efforts, the diamantaire had claimed that he was picked up at Jolly Harbour in Antigua and Barbuda by men looking like Indian and Antiguan policemen and was put in a vessel.

Marsh had said he saw marks on the body of Choksi who had swollen eyes and feared for his life. He said Choksi is a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda and not India hence he should be sent back.

Aggarwal called the entire episode of Choksi’s mysterious disappearance and detention in Dominica “fishy”.

Choksi, who is wanted in a ₹13,500-crore loan fraud in the Punjab National Bank, was last seen going for dinner in his car in Antigua and Barbuda on Sunday.

His staff had reported him missing after his car was found.

On Thursday (Indian time), the Dominica government confirmed his presence on its soil, saying he has been “detained” for illegal entry.

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