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‘Impossible’ to return to India; Mehul Choksi tells CBI

Friday, March 09, 2018

Gitanjali Gems promoter Mehul Choksi, who is under the scanner of investigating agencies following a complaint by the Punjab National Bank, has said it was impossible for him to return to India and join the investigation due to the suspension of his passport and ill-health.

In a detailed e-mail reply to the CBI's notice seeking his appearance, Choksi said he was not in a position to travel as his passport has been suspended by the authorities and he was undergoing medical treatment. "I want to assure your good office and good self that I am in no manner dictating the terms of my appearance. However, as my passport stands suspended by the Regional Passport Office under Section 10(3)(c) of the Passport Act, it is impossible for me to travel back to India," the 7-page letter said.

He said that on February 16, 2018, he had received an e-mail from the Passport Office which stated that his passport has been suspended due to the reason 'Security Threat to India', however, the Regional Passport Office, Mumbai, did not give him any explanation as to why his passport was suspended and as to how he was a security threat.

"I am also not in a position to travel due to my persisting health problem. I had a cardiac procedure which was conducted in the first week of February 2018 and there is still pending work to be done on the same. The entire procedure could not be completed on all veins due to danger to kidney and therefore I am not allowed to travel for at least a period of four to six months," he said.

The letter said he was being threatened by the individuals with whom he has business relationship and due to the seizure of his assets, his employees, customers and creditors have started to show animosity towards him.

"I am concerned about my health and well-being. In case I am arrested, then I would not be able to get proper healthcare and would be provided treatment only in a government hospital. I would be further denied treatment in a private hospital," he said.

Choksi also alleged that the issue was being "politicised" and the media was conducting a trial which was causing great prejudice to his fundamental rights.

"Various political parties in India have been politicising the issue with a view to glorify their own interests. The entire reports being published in newspapers, various statements made by members of various political parties and the trial by media has therefore left me remediless and therefore a bias has been caused against me.

Amount involved in PNB scam unlikely to go up: DEA Secretary
The quantum of fraud at Punjab National Bank, allegedly carried out by diamantaire Nirav Modi, is not likely to increase from Rs 12,646 core, economic affairs secretary Subhash Chandra Garg said here yesterday.

"We have not seen any more evidence," Garg said when asked if the funds involved in the fraud could go up further. PNB had initially reported that the amount involved in the fraud was about USD 1.77 billion, but later revised it upwards by another USD 204.25 million.
 

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