Will provide air ambulance for Mehul Choksi's return, ED tells Bombay HC

Mehul Choksi

The Enforcement Directorate has told the Bombay High Court that it was ready to provide an air ambulance to bring diamantaire Mehul Choksi, a key accused in the multi-crore Punjab National Bank scam, to India.

Choksi, currently based in the Caribbean nation of Antigua, recently told the high court that he left India for medical treatment and not to avoid prosecution in the case. He said he would return to India as soon as he is medically fit to travel.

In a counter affidavit filed before the court on Friday, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) said Choksi's submission appeared to be "facades being erected merely to mislead the court".

"The ED conducts investigations in a very fair and professional manner. It may be appreciated that taking a humanitarian approach, they are ready to provide an expert medical team along with air ambulance to bring Choksi from Antigua to India under proper medical supervision," the probe agency said.

The agency added that best medical services were available in India and, if required, would be provided to Choksi on his return.

The agency also brought to the court's attention the discharge summary of the hospital in New York, where he had successfully undergone surgery in February 2008, which allowed the diamantaire to return to work within three to five days.

"As such it is not clear what is preventing him from travelling now, after 16-17 months from the date of undergoing the said procedure," the ED said.

The Enforcement Directorate, which moved a special PMLA court here to get Choksi declared a fugitive economic offender, has accused the jeweller of fleeing the country to avoid arrest.

Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi, who is currently in a London jail, are wanted by the ED and the CBI for allegedly defrauding the Punjab National Bank (PNB) to the tune of Rs 13,400 crore.



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