The Congress claimed on Sunday that fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi has applied for registration of a new company in the United Kingdom and asked the Narendra Modi government how serious were its efforts for his extradition.
Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said Choksi had applied for the registration in the UK of his company with its principal address in Dubai (UAE) only three days ago and asked whether the Modi government knew about it. He also released purported documents in support of his claim.
Claiming that the Modi dispensation was facing an imminent defeat in the coming parliamentary election, the Congress leader said the government must tell the people if it knew about Choksi’s move. “Also, if agencies like CBI and Enforcement Directorate(ED) made any effort to extradite him,” he told a press conference.
The Congress spokesperson also alleged that a “powerful person”, who benefited from Choksi, was protecting him.
“Who has benefited from Choksi and who is this important, powerful man who is saving him. Why the Modi government applied for extradition of Choksi from Antigua with which India has no extradition treaty,” he questioned.
Choksi, along with his nephew Nirav Modi, is accused of defrauding the state-run Punjab National Bank of Rs 13,000 crore.
He fled the country last year after the scam came to light. He has subsequently taken up citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda.
Khera also asked whether it was a coincidence that Nirav Modi was seen moving around freely in London, and one-two days ago Choksi got his “shell company” registered there.
Referring to the BJP’s slogan of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas”, Khera said the government’s real intention was “Bhagodon Ke Saath, Bhagodon Ka Vikas’ (helping fugitives to prosper).
Nirav Modi, 48, was tracked down to a three-bedroom flat occupying half of a floor of the landmark Centre Point tower block of luxury apartments, where rent is estimated to be around 17,000 pounds a month, ‘The Daily Telegraph’ reported. He was also reported to have started a business in the UK.