Editorial Staff
2 months ago

Editorial Staff
2 months ago

Supreme Court revives cheating case against fugitive businessman Mehul Choksi and his wife

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There has been a recent development in a case against businessman Mehul Choksi and his wife, Priti Mehul Choksi, who are accused of cheating and forgery in India.

A lower court previously dismissed the case, but the Supreme Court has now decided to reinstate it, stating that the investigation should proceed independently without being influenced by any previous judgments.

The Supreme Court has emphasized that the investigating officer must follow the interpretations of relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code provided by the Supreme Court and various high courts.

The Gujarat High Court had previously examined the case in detail, but the Supreme Court has stated that such a review should not have been conducted at the high court level.

The case involves disputed facts, with Choksi and his wife arguing that the agreements dated July 25, 2013, and August 13, 2013, were not binding on their company, Geetanjali Jewellery Retail Limited.

On the other hand, the appellant argues that the agreements were valid, with Choksi and his wife committing to returning 24-karat pure gold bars held in deposit with the company in a fiduciary capacity.

The court has refrained from delving into these aspects, emphasizing that such matters are best considered during the investigation.

The focus should be on determining whether the elements of a criminal offense are satisfied, as wrongdoing may constitute both a civil wrong and a criminal offense.

Overall, the Supreme Court has decided to reinstate the case against Mehul Choksi and his wife, emphasizing that the focus should be on determining whether a criminal offense has been committed.

Choksi is currently being sought after by the Indian judiciary for various criminal offenses such as criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, cheating, and dishonesty, including delivery of property, corruption, and money laundering.

Choksi has always protested his innocence and claimed all accusations against him were baseless and politically motivated. Choksi has been a citizen of Antigua since 2017.

He owns Gitanjali Group, a retail jewelry company with 4000 stores in India.

A warrant for his arrest was issued in connection with the Punjab National Bank fraud case. He was allegedly involved in stock market manipulation in 2013. In late May 2021, he disappeared from Antigua and Barbuda.

Choksi alleges that he was kidnapped from Antigua by Indian state agents, while others claim he fled the country.

After he was found and detained in Dominica for illegal entry, he was brought back to Antigua and Barbuda on interim bail for medical treatment. In May 2022, the Dominican government dropped the charge of illegal entry. Investigations into his disappearance are still ongoing.

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