PNB Fraud: Fear mob lynching, and hence will not return to India says Gitanjali Gems' Mehul Choksi and Nirav Modi's uncle

Last Updated: Thu, Jun 28, 2018 15:47 hrs
Mehul Choksi (PTI image)

Mumbai: Alleged Fraudster Mehul Choksi, uncle of main accused Nirav Modi in the Punjab National Bank fraud case, on Wednesday has made an assertion in a special CBI court in Mumbai. Choksi through his legal counsel is learnt to have sought a cancellation of two non-bailable warrants issued against him in April and May.

His advocates, Sanjay Abbot and Rahul Agarwal, shared his plea that states reasons including his medical condition for his absence from court proceedings.

His plea majorly points out to the recent trend of mob lynching as a threat to his life, and hence he cannot travel.

His plea reads, "It is most respectfully submitted that there have been various reported cases of mob lynching and one of the cases was in relation to an accused who was mob lynched while being inside a jail. This recent trend of mob lynching is growing and is attempting to giving justice on the road by the general public, and subsequently there is no prosecution because of non-identification of a particular individual is giving rise to the said tendency."

Choksi hid his location purposely owing to fears of life. He said there were people aggrieved and angry with him. In his plea he lists those as existing employees, who are yet to receive their salaries owing to freezing of accounts; families of arrested' employees; creditors and landlords from his franchisee and other businesses; and even customers who's jewelry has been confiscated. Besides these, he believes there is also a threat to his life from jail inmates.

His plea also lists his medical condition and the revocation of his passport owing to "prejudice" of investigating agencies as reasons from his consistent absence from proceedings.

Choksi also conceded that his business was different from that of Firestar International, the flagship jewelry company of his nephew Nirav Modi. While Nirav Modi has been alleged to have raised fraudulent letters of undertaking in alleged connivance with employees of Punjab National Bank.

Choksi is alleged to have fetched a loan of Rs 5280 crores on a collateral of Rs 100 crores. A consortium of 31 banks lead by Allahabad Bank lent Gitanjali Gems, the money between November 2010 and April 2014.

The securities' custodian of the loan is Allahabad Bank's wholly-owned subsidiary Allahabad Finance Ltd.

The lenders include, Allahabad Bank, Andhra Bank, Bank of Maharashtra, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, Central Bank of India, Canara Bank, Corporation Bank, Dena Bank, Export Import Bank of India, Indian Overseas Bank, ICICI Bank, IDBI Bank, IndusInd Bank, Karnataka Bank, Karur Vysya Bank, Punjab National Bank, Punjab and Sind Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of India, State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, Syndicate Bank, Union Bank, United Bank, Vijaya Bank, State Bank of Mauritius, Catholic Syrian Bank, Lakshmi Vilas Bank, Jammu and Kashmir Bank and Oriental Bank of Commerce.

Manish Bosamiya, an accussed in the case, sought bail filing an application, stating that the ED named him a witness but the CBI arrested him as an accused.