New Delhi: The Congress on Tuesday accused the Central government and its agencies of “deliberately leaving gaping holes in the repatriation and prosecution of Mehul Choksi to India, despite the Rs 23,484 crore PNB scam”.
Fugitive diamantaire and Punjab National Bank fraud accused Mehul Choksi on Tuesday gave an interview to a television agency saying that all the allegations being leveled against him by the Enforcement Directorate are false and baseless.
He further added that the ED has “illegally attached my properties.” Communications chief of the Congress Randeep Singh Surjewala said, “Mehul Choksi has today told in the video interview that Indian authorities had sent him an email suspending his passport on Feb 16, 2018. As brought out above, MEA and other authorities had already given him a ‘clean chit’ on May 2017 for securing the citizenship of Antigua. Admittedly, Mehul Choksi had become citizen of Antigua in November 2017. It is intriguing that Modi Government permitted the Indian passport of Mehul Choksi to remain live till Feb 16, 2018, helping him escape on January 4, 2018.”
Quoting from media reports coming out Antigua, the Congress alleged that the ministry of external affairs of the Government of India provided the “Clean Chit” certificate for Mehul Choksi’s citizenship of Antigua in May 2017. The clearance certified that there was “no adverse information” against Mehul Choksi.
The party further alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi met the Antiguan President in the United Kingdom after fugitive diamond jeweller Mehul Choksi fled India but “didn’t utter a word” on the multi-crore Punjab National Bank scam accused’s extradition.
The Congress also furnished a reply to a Parliament question in which the PMO has admitted that the first report of action against Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi was given to PMO by Finance Department on 1.3.2018. According to the party Nirav Modi had escaped already on 1.1.2018 and Mehul Choksi had escaped on 4.1.2018