August 4, 2018
New Delhi: Senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram on Saturday wondered how diamond merchant Mehul Choksi fled the country even though he was under police investigation since 2016, and posed questions to the Centre and Gujarat government.
In a series of tweets, the former Union Minister also said that an affidavit was filed before the Gujarat High Court mentioning that Choksi may flee the country.
“On July 20, 2016, an affidavit was filed before the Gujarat High Court alleging Mehul Choksi was in debt of Rs 9,872 crore and he may flee the country. How did the Gujarat government (BJP) allow him to leave the country in January 2018?” Chidambaram said.
“How did the central government and the Gujarat government allow Mehul Choksi to leave the country in 2018 when he was under police investigation since 2016?”
On Friday, the extradition request for Choksi, who has secured an Atiguan passport and is living there, will soon be sent to the Caribbean country, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The CBI, which is probing the Rs 13,500-crore banking fraud allegedly committed by the jeweller and his nephew Nirav Modi, said its letter to get Choksi deported has been forwarded to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
Confirming the move, an MEA official said the Ministry has received the extradition request from the CBI and is currently in the process of conveying it to the authorities in Antigua and Barbuda.
Choksi is said to have fled India on an Indian passport in the first week of January 2018.