By Sushil Batra
New Delhi [India], May 28 (ANI): The legal team of fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi on Thursday filed a habeas corpus petition in Dominica and has also highlighted his deprivation of access to legal assistance there, confirmed his Lawyer in India, Vijay Aggarwal.
While talking to ANI, Aggarwal said: "The legal team has filed a habeas corpus petition in Dominica for Mehul Choksi and has also highlighted deprivation of access and constitutional rights to him for legal assistance"
Habeas Corpus is a writ requiring a person under arrest to be brought before a judge or into court, especially to secure the person's release unless lawful grounds are shown for their detention.
Meanwhile, on the reports of Choksi's deportation to India, Dominica Police said that he is still in custody and is being investigated.
Choksi's lawyer also claimed that "marks of torture" have been reported on Choksi's body, who had allegedly fled Antigua some days ago and ended up in a neighbouring island country Dominica.
Aggarwal alleged that Choksi was forcefully picked from Antigua and then taken to Dominica.
"...He (Choksi) has narrated that he was picked up by various people from jolly harbour in Antigua. And then he was taken to Dominica. He was there on Sunday and then he was taken to the police station on Monday," Aggarwal said.
Earlier, a massive manhunt was launched after Choksi went missing and an Interpol Yellow Notice was issued by Antigua and Barbuda. He was traced and captured in Dominica.
There were speculations that Choksi would be extradited back to India to answer fraud charges against him. However, he will now be sent back to Antigua and Barbuda, where he holds citizenship.
Earlier, Aggarwal lawyer had said that legally, as per Section 17 and 23 of the Immigration and Passport Act, Choksi can only be deported to Antigua.
In an exclusive interview to ANI on Wednesday, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Gaston Browne had said fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi, who has been found in Dominica, will be repatriated to India, and Indian authorities are in touch with those in Dominica.
Browne had said Dominica has agreed to Choksi's repatriation and Antigua will not accept him back. He added that he has requested PM Skerrit and law enforcement in Dominica to not return Choksi to Antigua where he has legal and constitutional protection as a citizen.
Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi are wanted in India for allegedly siphoning off Rs 13,500 crore of public money from the state-run Punjab National Bank (PNB) using letters of undertaking. (ANI)