The alleged Indian fugitive Mehul Choksi has been granted bail in the sum of $10,000.00 to travel to Antigua and Barbuda for specialized medical attention not available in Dominica as recommended by medical authorities.
This decision came this morning when High Court Judge Justice Bernie Stephenson approved a Consent Order stating that consideration was given to Choksi’s health which is on the decline and his need to access medical services overseas.
The 62-year-old diamond tycoon who gained citizenship in Antigua and Barbuda, is wanted by the Indian judicial authorities for allegedly cheating the Punjab National Bank of over two billion US dollars, one of India’s largest bank fraud cases in decades.
The circumstances surrounding the mysterious appearance of Choksi on a remote beach in Dominica remain a mystery.
Whilst his attorneys allege that he was kidnapped, beaten and unwillingly brought to Dominica, the police claim that he entered the shores illegally on May 24, 2021.
A charge of illegal entry has since been laid against him to which he pleaded not guilty. Choksi has been a patient at the Dominica China Friendship Hospital (DCFH) since May 29, 2021, as he is bleeding in the brain among other medical conditions.
Previous requests for bail by Choksi’s attorneys have denied first by the Chief Magistrate, Candia Carrette-George and later by High Court Judge Justice Wynante Adrien-Roberts, who deemed him a “flight risk.”
However, at today’s hearing, Justice Stephenson granted the special bail with some conditions attached.
She ordered that upon arrival in Antigua, Choksi is to consult with Antiguan neurologist, Dr. Hayden Osborne, at the Mount St. John’s Medical Centre and must inform the court of any change of specialist.
Additionally, prior to his admission to bail, Choksi must pay EC$10,000.00 in cash to the court to secure his appearance for his illegal entry trial in the magistrate court in Dominica.
It was further ordered that the Antigua and Barbuda citizenship holder must notify the Roseau Police Station and the High Court of his address in Antigua and must not change that address without first notifying the court. Upon his return to Dominica, he must notify the court of his address and his bail will be reviewed within 48 hours.
Choksi will only return to Dominica when a doctor certifies that he is fit to stand trial.
A stay order has also been issued on his illegal entry matter in the Magistrate court.
The hearing of the application for judicial review in the Choksi matter filed recently by his attorney was was adjourned to January 26, 2022. Choksi’s team is seeking judicial review of decisions taken by the acting Chief of Police, Lincoln Corbette, the investigating police officer, Alleyne Maximea, Minister of National Security Rayburn Blackmoore and the Chief Magistrate Carrette-George.
While Choksi did not appear in person at today’s hearing, he did participate via zoom from his hospital bed.
Trinidadian born Senior Counsel Douglas Mendes was also added to Choksi’s legal team, joining attorney-at-law, Queen’s Counsel Justin Simon based in Antigua and Barbuda and Dominican lawyers, Julien Prevost, Zena Moore-Dyer, Gina Dyer-Munro, Wayne Marsh, Cara Shillingford-Marsh and Wayne Norde.