Dominica Court grants interim bail to fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi on medical grounds to travel to Antigua & Barbuda. Bail granted strictly for medical treatment in Antigua. Interim bail granted till he's certified fit to travel, after that he has to return to Dominica. pic.twitter.com/BCey7gl0ED— ANI (@ANI) July 12, 2021
A Dominica court has granted interim bail to fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi on medical grounds to travel to Antigua & Barbuda, ANI tweeted.
The bail has been granted strictly for medical treatment in Antigua and he can stay there until he is certified fit to travel to Dominica.
Choksi had filed a case in the high court of Roseau, seeking to quash the proceedings against him, local media reported. He alleged that his arrest in Dominica for illegal entry was "dictated" by representatives of the Indian government.
The case was reportedly filed against the immigration minister of the Caribbean nation, its police chief and the investigating officer of the case.
Choksi, who went missing from Antigua and Barbuda where he had been living since 2018 after his escape from India, was arrested on May 23 in neighbouring Dominica for illegal entry. He was declared a prohibited immigrant by the Ministry of Immigration in Dominica.
The 62-year-old diamantaire, wanted in connection with a Rs 13,500-crore Punjab National Bank scam, has approached the high court in Dominica, alleging that the decision of Lincoln Corbette, Acting Chief of Police in Roseau, and investigating officer Sergeant Alleyne to charge him for illegal entry was "not a product of their independent judgement".
"...they allowed themselves to be dictated by third parties, representatives of the Indian government...," Choksi alleged. Seeking to quash the proceedings against him, Choksi pleaded before the high court that the decision to charge him for illegal entry was violative of law and accordingly, null and void," Caribbean media outlet Nature Isle News reported.
Choksi said he is a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda, where he has challenged a move to extradite him, and claimed he was kidnapped from Antigua and Barbuda and forcibly brought to Dominica by Indian men.
Choksi claimed that he had narrated his ordeal to the Dominican police but they did not launch any investigation into his allegations.
His lawyers on Tuesday told the magistrate court where his case of illegal entry is going on that they have filed the plea in the high court. Choksi has sought a permanent order staying the criminal charge" brought against him for illegal entry.
He has also sought a court order stating that the minister of immigration and national security declaring him an illegal immigrant was a breach of the principles of natural justice, and is accordingly null and void, and of no effect, the website reported.
-With agency inputs