Dominican court grants Mehul Choksi bail

Dominica HC allows Mehul Choksi to return to Antigua on bail for treatment

The Dominica High Court has granted bail to fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi, allowing him to travel to Antigua and Barbuda for treatment of his neurological condition, local media there reported.

The high court has granted a consent order permitting Choksi to go to Antigua, where he has been staying as a citizen since 2018 after he left India, after depositing Eastern Caribbean Dollars 10,000 (approximately ₹2.75 lakh as per exchange rate) as bail money, Antigua Breaking News reported. The court has also stayed the ongoing trial before a magistrate for his alleged illegal entry into Dominica on May 23, it said. This is a setback for Indian agencies that had moved court in Dominica to get Choksi repatriated to India to face trial in the Rs 13,000-crore PNB loan fraud case. While India has argued that he is an Indian citizen, Choksi has maintained that he ceased to be one when he took Antiguan citizenship in 2017.

Antigua too had said it does not want Choksi back in its country and would prefer him to be repatriated to India. According to reports in the Antiguan media, Choksi’s bail plea was supposed to be heard on July 23 but was heard on July 12 on medical grounds. His lawyers had moved the court pleading that he was suffering from a neurological disorder for which he needed treatment in Antigua.