Indian Fugitive Mehul Choksi, who is wanted by the Indian government to answer charges of fraud has scored a High Court victory.
Justice Marissa Robertson in a judgment handed down on March 3, this week in the High Court in St Johns, denied an application by Attorney General Steadroy Benjamin Commissioner of Police Atlee Rodney to strike out Choksi’s claim alleging a constitutional violation arising out of the failure to adequately investigate his claims of being victim of inhuman treatment and torture.
In essence, the judgment means that the AG and the Police Commissioner have a case to answer to in the alleged kidnapping of Choksi
A spokesperson for Choksi said he was pleased with the court’s decision.
In a statement released to the media on Monday the spokesperson said “after being kidnapped in May 2021, Antigua has continuously attempted to delay any efforts to hold those responsible accountable despite the clear findings of the initial police investigation. This is another step towards those responsible for the kidnapping of Choksi being brought to justice”.
Justice Robertson also denied claims that from Antigua and Barbuda that there was no contention and breach of the constitution.
In her judgment, she wrote “the Claimant represents that he was assaulted, choked, strangled, restrained, beaten punched about the head and body; that he was tasered; threatened with a kitchen knife and subjected to death threats; that he was tied with a rope to a wheelchair; that he was gagged and blindfolded; that he was told that his family would be in jeopardy; he was ill-treated to the extent that he lost consciousness. The Claimant presents photographs and medical records to substantiate the allegations made in the claim”
Mehul Choksi is accused by the Indian state of numerous crimes relating to an alleged $850m fraud.
Choksi denies the allegations, which he maintains are politically motivated in an attempt to expropriate his extensive assets held in India.
On 23 May 2021, Choksi was mysteriously disappeared from Antigua and Barbuda.
He said that he was “attacked by a gang of six to eight individuals on a property in Jolly Harbor, Antigua, choked, beaten, tasered, blindfolded, gagged and strapped to a wheelchair with a hood placed over his head”
He further claimed that was “taken by boat to Dominican waters and was threatened with a knife and tortured while in transit by individuals claiming to be agents of India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). He was then handed to a Dominican coastguard vessel and brought on to the island at Cabrits Ferry terminal”.
He was later charged with illegal entry into Dominica and granted bail weeks later for medical reasons in July 2021. He was later flown back to Antigua for treatment not long after. One month later in May 2022, all charges were dropped against Choksi.
Choksi who receives Antiguan citizenship by investment is bringing legal proceedings against authorities here to “seek a full and proper investigation into the circumstances around his kidnapping and torture”.