PNB fraud case: New warrant issued against Mehul Choksi

The CBI claimed that since December 2017, Mehul Choksi had the knowledge about the impending criminal proceedings against him and the companies linked to him.

Observing that there is prima facie material to show that absconding diamond trader Mehul Choksi and others in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) alleged fraud case had caused offences, including destruction of evidence, a special court recently issued another non-bailable warrant against him.

The court took cognizance of the supplementary chargesheet filed earlier this month. The court also said among the other co-accused are four public servants. These include PNB staffers, Gokulnath Shetty, Manoj Kharat, Bechu Tiwari and Yashwant Joshi.

The court said a fresh sanction to prosecute them under the newly added sections will be required. It added that while two PNB staffers – Sagar Sawant and Sanjay Prasad – are added to the chargesheet, a sanction to prosecute them too is pending.

The CBI has also added sections, including criminal conspiracy, in its recent chargesheet. It issued process against Choksi, Aniyath Nair, director of Gili India, Nitin Shahi, assistant financial executive, Gitanjali Gems, Kapil Khandelwal, joint president (finance), Gitanjai Gems, and Vipul Chitalia, vice-president (banking operations), Gitanjali Group. It also issued process against two others.\

After Choksi, who left the country in January 2018, was arrested in Dominica recently, the CBI approached a court there to seek his extradition. It said he is required for a probe here into the PNB case. The supplementary chargesheet will also be submitted before the court by the CBI, along with the submission that another non-bailable warrant has been issued.

The CBI claimed that since December 2017, Choksi had the knowledge about the impending criminal proceedings against him and the companies linked to him. He had shifted all the original applications, which were meant to be with the bank, to another location through an employee, as a means to destroy evidence.

Choksi’s lawyer has denied the new charges.

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