Mehul Choksi approaches Bombay HC, says not avoiding probe

Choksi, in his plea, stated that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has alleged that he left the country under suspicious circumstances in January 2018 and is avoiding investigation despite a summons. (File)

Absconding jeweller Mehul Choksi has approached the Bombay High Court stating that he had not deliberately avoided joining the investigation against him in the alleged Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case but was unable to return to India because of a medical condition.

Choksi has filed an appeal against the trial court's order, where he has stated that his inability to return cannot be seen as refusal to return and hence, the provisions of the new legislature, Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, cannot be invoked against him.

Choksi, in his plea, stated that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has alleged that he left the country under suspicious circumstances in January 2018 and is avoiding investigation despite a summons. But when he left the country, the FIR in the case had not been filed against him. Choski has again stated that his medical records show that he has several blocked arteries and that he was advised a bypass surgery, following which he had travelled abroad. He has further said he is "constrained from travelling" as he needs continuous monitoring and medical supervision.

Choksi has filed another petition in an appeal against the trial court's order rejecting his plea seeking cross-examination of ED officials, who submitted a report under the FEO Act against him. Choksi claims that while seeking to declare him a fugitive economic offender under the Act, the ED has considered statements of 19 people. He has sought for cross-examination of the witnesses, based on which the provisions of the Act were invoked. The petitions will be heard in June.