The Bombay high court (HC) on Monday directed fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi’s counsel to submit his medical papers so that the head of cardiology from Sir JJ Hospital can analyse them to ascertain whether Choksi can safely travel to India. Choksi’s documents must be submitted by July 1 and the report from Sir JJ Hospital will be submitted in a sealed cover by July 9. The court also directed the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to take instructions on whether the red corner notice issued against Choksi may be suspended to enable him to travel for treatment.
Appearing for Choksi, advocate Vijay Agarwal told the court on Monday that the application filed by the ED to declare Choksi a fugitive economic offender (FEO) was invalid and reiterated that Choksi’s medical condition prevented his return to India. Choksi is one of the primary accused in the Rs 13,500 crore fraud at Punjab National Bank. However, ED’s counsel advocate Hiten Venegaonkar submitted that the FEO Act did not require evidence to be reduced to an affidavit and that Choksi’s health condition was a “façade”.
After hearing the arguments, the bench of justices Indrajit Mohanty and AM Badar asked Agarwal to furnish Choksi’s medical papers by July 1. A report based on these papers has previously been submitted to the court in June. The documents are to be analysed by the head of the cardiology department at Sir JJ Hospital to understand the feasibility of bringing Choksi to India using the special air ambulance offered by the Union of India in its affidavit. The bench also requested the cardiology department to apprise the court as to whether the medical procedure Choksi wants to undergo in Miami is necessary. The hospital will submit its report in a sealed envelope by July 9.
The bench, on Agarwal’s request, also directed Venegaonkar to take instructions on suspending the red corner notice to enable Choksi to travel to Miami – a three hour flight from Antigua – to undergo medical treatment as the necessary medical infrastructure is not available in Antigua.
The next hearing is on July 10.
Jun 25, 2019 00:38 IST
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