The Hush Post|01:32pm| 1-min-read
Fugitive jeweller and economic offender Mehul Choksi has given up his Indian citizenship. He has surrendered his passport to Antigua, an island in the West Indies. The move is seen as an attempt to avoid extradition to India. He is an accused in Rs 13,000 crore PNB scam.
Mehul Choksi, 59, has submitted $177 with his passport (Z-3396732 ) to the Indian High Commission in Antigua. Officials say he has given up his Indian citizenship and surrendered his passport to Antigua. He has given his new address as Jolly Harbour Marks, Antigua.
Antigua is hearing India’s case for the businessman’s extradition.
The Indian foreign ministry has already said that Mehul Choksi could not have dual citizenship.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that the government has passed the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill to bring back fugitives.
India and Antigua do not have a bilateral extradition pact. Nonetheless, the government has been trying to bring back the diamond billionaire from Antigua. There is a law of the island nation of Antigua and Barbuda that allows it to send back a fugitive to a designated Commonwealth country.
Got citizenship of Antigua in January 2018
Mehul Choksi was granted citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda, an independent state, in 2018. He took the oath of allegiance to that country on January 15 last year. Nearly two weeks later, on January 29, the CBI filed a case and started investigating him and his nephew Nirav Modi.
They both fled the country a year ago. Choksi left the country for medical treatment in the US.
Earlier, Choksi had told a Mumbai court that he cannot travel to India as he cannot suffer a 41-hour journey from Antigua because of his poor health.
In December, global body Interpol had put out a red corner notice against Choksi on the CBI’s request.