Choksi seeks dismissal of ED plea to declare him as fugitive

Mumbai, Apr 24 (PTI) Diamantaire Mehul Choksi, an accused in the multi-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam, has moved the Bombay High Court, seeking dismissal of an application filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a special court to declare him as a fugitive economic offender.In a petition filed Wednesday through advocate Vijay Aggarwal, he said he was unable to return to India due to persistent health problems.Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi are wanted by the ED and the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) for allegedly defrauding the PNB to the tune of Rs 13,400 crore, in collusion with a few of its employees.The ED had filed an application before a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court, seeking for Choksi to be declared a "fugitive economic offender" for evading summons to appear before the agency and that his properties be confiscated under the provisions of the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018.Choksi had then filed an application before the lower court, seeking for the ED's plea to be dismissed.When the lower court rejected his application, Choksi approached the high court."He (Choksi) has not intentionally refused to return, but is unable to return due to his medical conditions. He has also attached his medical records," Aggarwal said.In his second petition, Choksi also sought a direction to the special court to permit him to cross-examine those persons on whose statements the ED is relying upon to declare Choksi as a fugitive economic offender.A division bench of justices I A Mahanty and A M Badar has posted both the petitions for hearing on June 5. PTI SP NP IJTIJT