New Delhi: Just days after Mehul Choksi was found and later arrested in Dominica, the first photographs of the India-born fugitive diamantaire surfaced on Saturday which shows him sustaining several injuries all over his body.
As per the pictures, supplied by the AntiguaNewsRoom, it shows Choksi sustaining numerous injuries on his hands and the left eye which also appears to be bruised and swollen too.
Earlier, his lawyer had said that he can only be deported to Antigua, not to India. Legally, according to Section 17 and 23 of the Immigration and Passport Act, Mehul Choksi can only be deported to Antigua, the fugitive diamantaire’s lawyer said on Thursday.
Advocate Vijay Aggarwal, Counsel for Mehul Choksi, while speaking to ANI about the fugitive businessman’s deportation directly to India, revealed it cannot be done.
In an official release, Advocate Aggarwal said, “As per the Indian Citizenship Act, Section 9, the moment Mehul Choksi acquired the citizenship of Antigua, he ceased to be a Citizen of India. Hence, legally, as per Immigration and Passport Act Section 17 and 23, he can be deported only to Antigua.”
His lawyer in Dominica, Wayne Marsh, had told a radio show that in a brief interaction with Choksi, allowed by authorities after a lot of efforts, the diamantaire had claimed that he was picked up at Jolly Harbour in Antigua and Barbuda by men looking like Indian and Antiguan policemen and was put in a vessel.
Marsh had said he saw marks on the body of Choksi who had swollen eyes and feared for his life. He said Choksi is a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda and not India hence he should be sent back.
Aggarwal called the entire episode of his mysterious disappearance and detention in Dominica “fishy”.
“Lawyers for Choksi in Antigua and Barbuda and Dominica have been trying to have a legal interview with him as per his constitutional rights but they were denied access to him. After great effort they were able to speak to Choksi for two minutes during which he narrated a horrifying experience which is an eye-opener and vindicates my stand that he would not have gone from Antigua voluntarily,” Aggarwal said.
Choksi said that after being taken from Antigua, Choksi was kept somewhere and then on Monday he was taken to a police station. Since then he has been there and this news to the world was broken only on Wednesday, and there were marks on his body, Aggarwal said.
“There is something fishy and I guess it was a strategy to take him to another country so that there are chances of sending him back to India. So I don’t know what forces are operating. Only the time will tell,” he said.