Mumbai: Following the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED’s) offer to provide an air ambulance to fugitive diamantaire, Mehul Choksi, to bring him back to India from Antigua, the Bombay high court Monday directed the state-run JJ Hospital to study Mr Choksi’s medical reports and submit its opinion on his medical condition in a sealed envelope. The court wants to find out if Mr Choksi is in a position to travel or not.
The division bench of Justice I.A. Mahanty and Justice A.M. Badar directed an expert team of doctors at the J.J. Hospital to submit its report on July 9 and the court would hear the matter again on July 10.
Mr Choksi, accused of money laundering by the Enforcement Directorate in the multi-crore Punjab National Bank scam, is presently in Antigua and has told the high court that he is unable to travel to India due to ill health.
The bench on Monday directed Mr Choksi’s advocate to submit all of his client’s latest medical reports to the team of doctors at the JJ Hospital’s cardiology department. The hospital would submit the sealed report to the court with its opinion on whether Mr Choksi could travel, the bench said.
The high court issued this direction while hearing a petition filed by Choksi challenging an application filed by the Enforcement Directorate seeking to declare him a fugitive economic offender.
Mr Choksi claimed that he left India in January 2018 to undergo a bypass surgery and not to avoid prosecution. In an affidavit filed in the HC, he said he would return to India if he was medically fit. Earlier, the ED told the court that it was ready to provide an air ambulance to bring Mr Choksi to India from Antigua.