Mehul Choksi, one of the central figures accused of involvement in an alleged fraud of nearly 2 billion dollars against Punjab National Bank (PNB), criticized India’s investigating agencies in a letter alleging gross abuse of due process in the ongoing probe.
In a letter to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), one of the lead agencies probing the alleged loan fraud, the jeweller said the seizure of his assets, bank accounts and the shutting down of all his offices in India has caused prejudice against him.
PNB Scam: Mehul Choksi Finally Breaks His Silence; Here’s What He Said
Gitanjali Gems owner Mehul Choksi, an accused in the multi-crore PNB scam, on Thursday said he cannot travel to India for his trial as his passport has been revoked without any explanation. Choksi in a reply to CBI said that his passport was suspended citing that he is a “threat to the security” of India.
He further said that the Region Passport Office (RPO) in Mumbai did not give any explanation as to how he was a security threat to the country. The accused diamond trader explained that he is not in a position to travel for at least a period of four to six months due to persisting health problems.
“I had a cardiac procedure which was conducted in the first week of February, and there is still pending work to be done on the same,” said the relative of celebrated jeweller Nirav Modi, the prime accused in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) case.
Choksi further said: “On February 28, I sent an e-mail to the Regional Passport Office, Mumbai, requesting them to revoke the suspension of my Passport; however, I have not received any reply from the office.” The accused, who left India in January, also expressed apprehension and concern for his and his family’s safety.
“I am being threatened by individuals with whom I have a business relationship. There has been a complete and sudden closure of the business, and my employees, customers, creditors etc have started to show their animosity towards me.”
The Gitanjali Gems owner also expressed concern that he would not be able to get proper health care if arrested. He also said various political parties have been politicizing the issue to glorify their own interests, and reports, as well as the trial by media, has caused a bias against him.
“They have caused great prejudice to my fundamental rights- Right to Life and Right to Fair Trail – guaranteed by the Constitution,” he said. Choksi also said that multiple investigating agencies were after his life, the CBI had seized his office servers, and there had been a gross abuse of process of law by the probe agencies.
“The seizure of my movable/immovable properties, bank accounts and shutting down of all my offices in India has caused prejudice against me. It is in the interest of justice that I be granted an opportunity to have a free and fair trial, however, the investigating agencies are acting with a pre-determined mind which is hampering the process of law and interfering with the course of justice,” he said in the letter.
The alleged ‘fugitive’ said he had travelled abroad for his business prior to the registration of the FIR and this in no manner means that his travel abroad was a direct result of the case. Choksi reiterated that he continued to work outside India and requested the CBI to communicate with him via e-mail or his Advocate Sanjay Abbot regarding the investigation.