Multi-agency probe team heads home as Dominica High Court adjourns hearing on Mehul Choksi’s habeas corpus petition
INDIA’S multi-agency team that had gone to Dominica to bring back Mehul Choksi is headed back home on a Qatar Airways private jet after the island nation’s High Court adjourned the hearing on the fugitive diamantaire’s habeas corpus petition, sources said.
Publicly available flight data showed that the jet took off from the Melville Hall Airport in Dominica at 8.09 PM (local time) on June 3 and is travelling towards Madrid. The multi-agency team of officials is also returning, the sources said.
The team led by CBI DIG Sharda Raut was stationed in Dominica for nearly seven days to bring back Choksi, who is wanted in the Rs 13,500-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam, to India.
On Thursday, the Dominica High Court adjourned the hearing on Choksi’s habeas corpus petition. A habeas corpus petition is filed for producing before a court a person who is under arrest or in unlawful detention. It is likely that the next hearing may take place after a month and the businessman will remain in Dominica, local media reported.
Judge Bernie Stephenson will decide the next date of hearing after meeting both sides, media outlet Antigua News Room said. The adjournment is to allow lawyers of Choksi and the Dominica Government “to agree on the language to be used with respect to the injunction filed to prevent his removal from Dominica”, it said.
Thursday’s hearing was conducted through videoconferencing with a group of protesters standing outside the High Court building in Roseau carrying placards with messages seeking to know the truth about the controversy. “Who brought Choksi to Dominica?” read one of the placards, the photo of which was published by many media outlets.
The judge had on Wednesday ordered production of Choksi before the magistrate to face charges of illegal entry into Dominica.
Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi had fled India in the first week of January 2018, weeks before the PNB scam rocked the Indian banking industry.