The Gujarat government said in the High Court on Tuesday that it opposed the quashing of an FIR lodged against Nirav Modi’s uncle, Mehul Choksi of Gitanjali Gems, who is on the run in the alleged fraud case in Punjab National Bank (PNB).
This case against Choksi pertains to a chit fund scam in which a customer had filed an FIR with the Ahmedabad Detection of Crime Branch (DCB) last year. When the single bench of Justice A J Desai asked the government pleader Mitesh Amin about its stand on the case, he said, “We are opposing the quashing (of the FIR) as there are many more victims. We have come to know that they had published advertisements for this scheme and therefore, there could be many victims.”
Choksi’s lawyer filed a petition in the High Court, seeking quashing of the FIR on the ground of consent settlement. The matter came up for hearing before Justice Desai, who after hearing the case history, adjourned the matter for further hearing till March 14.
In 2017, one Mita Mankad, a resident of Bhavnagar, had filed the FIR, stating that she had invested in one of the schemes in the franchise of Gitanjali Gems, a group owned by Choksi. The scheme had an offer that if she paid monthly installments for 11 months, the last franchise would give the 12th installment for free and she could buy gold or diamond of equal amount. According to the FIR, Mankad paid for nine months and when she went to deposit for the 10th month, she was told that the franchise was closed. She was offered diamond in lieu of her money, but she refused and demanded gold or her money back.
Subsequently, Mankad lodged an FIR with DCB, naming Choksi and Bhavnagar-based Digvijayingh Jadeja, who was the owner of the franchise. On February 17, Choksi’s lawyer filed a petition for quashing the FIR on the ground of consent settlement with complainant Mankad.
Jadeja also filed a petition, opposing the quashing petition. Jadeja has alleged that there are hundreds of people who lost their money under the Gitanjali Gems scheme. In 2016, Jadeja had filed a petition in HC for filing an FIR against Choksi for cheating which was rejected. He has claimed that he had requested the HC back then to seize Choksi’s passport as he would flee the country.