Choksi contended that the ED plea should have been accompanied by an affidavit revealing all contents but there was no such affidavit.
Mumbai: Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud-accused Mehul Choksi Monday moved a fresh application before the special PMLA court, seeking dismissal of the Enforcement Directorate’s plea to the court to declare him a fugitive economic offender (FEO).
Choksi contended that the ED plea should have been accompanied by an affidavit revealing all contents but there was no such affidavit. Meanwhile, his lawyer Monday withdrew the application from the Bombay high court, where he had challenged the ED’s move to file a plea before the PMLA court seeking to declare him a fugitive economic offender.
Choksi had claimed that he could not travel to India because of ill health, following which the HC had directed him to submit his medical reports to the team of state-run J.J. Hospital.
However on Monday, his lawyers told the court that they could not submit his medical reports here as directed earlier because his doctor in Antigua refused to treat him “due to some reason”. After hearing the brief arguments, the HC said that Choksi’s main ground for not returning to India to face prosecution was that he was medically unfit to travel. However, when he was not submitting documents to support this claim, he should withdraw his petition. His lawyer Vijay Aggarwal agreed and withdrew the petition.
Although the ED had moved the application under the Fugitive Economic Offenders’ Act around a year back, seeking to declare Choksi a fugitive economic offender, his lawyers Vijay Agarwal and Ashul Agarwal Monday filed a plea before the PMLA court, claiming that the application filed by the ED was suffering from a technical defect.
The application read, “The affidavit which is filed along with the application under section 4 of the FEO Act, 2018, nowhere states the particulars as contemplated by section 297 Cr.PC. The applic-ant/complainant in his affidavit has not stated the source of his knowledge, and hence, the affidavit filed by him before this hon’ble court is defective and cannot be relied upon.”
Later in the day, advocate Kavita Patil, on behalf of the ED, filed a reply on Mr Choksi’s plea saying, “The alleged fugitive offender herein is abusing the process of law, filing such frivolous applications only to mislead the court and waste precious judicial time. He cannot be allowed to take advantage of his own wrongdoing and continue to misuse the process in this manner.”