Mehul Choksi, the billionaire owner of Gitanjali Gems Pvt Ltd has today appealed before a Mumbai court that there are numerous mob lynching incidents in India lately and he fears the same if he comes back to the country. According to reports, Choksi had appealed in a Mumbai court against the non-bailable warrant issued against him in the 13,000 crores PNB Scam case.
Choksi has a non-bailable warrant against him after a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court took cognisance of the charge sheet filed against him by the Enforcement Directorate.
Times of India has quoted Mehul’s application filed through his lawyer Sanjay Abbot as stating, “As it became impossible for the applicant’s company to function, employees were not paid their salaries and debtors did not get their money back, all these persons have become agitated against the applicant (Choksi) and he now fears for his life.”
The application reportedly further added, “There have been various cases of mob lynching in India. The recent trend of mob lynching and the general public giving justice on the road is growing. Even the applicant faces a similar threat as there are several people who have grievances and anger against him.”
Choksi is one of the prime accused in the PNB Scam and has been absconding like his nephew Nirav Modi since January this year.
According to reports, Choksi’s application also mentions the poor conditions in Indian jails and the probable threat and extortion he would face from other inmates and jail staff. The application also reportedly states that there are instances of third-degree torture meted out to suspects by CBI and ED.
Choksi has been absconding since the PNB Scam was brought to the notice of authorities. Both his and Nirav Modi’s passports have been revoked by the government of India and the Interpol has issued a red corner notice against Nirav Modi. The ED and the CBI have also frozen the bank accounts and seized assets of Choksi’s Gitanjali Gems and Nirav Modi owned companies.
Choksi’s name has also been linked to the former UPA government after it was brought forth that the former finance minister P Chidambaram had signed an order that allowed Gitanjali Gems to import huge amounts of gold under the 80:20 scheme just before vacating his post to the new government.
Choksi has reportedly moved a similar application before a CBI court last month. Special PMLA judge MS Azmi has reportedly directed the ED to file their response on Choksi’s application and has deferred the case for further hearing to August 18.