Mehul Choksi, one of the main defendants in the Punjab National Bank scam,
says he fears for his life due to increasing instances of mob lynchings in India.
Choksi, who is diamond jeweler Nirav Modi’s uncle, has filed an application for
cancellation of an arrest warrant against him.
Choksi is accused of defrauding PNB of $2 billion and fled the country before
the scandal came to light earlier this year. He has not disclosed his location saying there’s a threat to his life.
Choksi, through his lawyer, said the trend of “mob lynching is growing” and that he
might face a similar fate if ever he were to return to the country. The lack of
prosecutions in lynching cases were encouraging mob violence, the lawyer said, reported Reuters.
Choksi, who owns Gitanjali Gems, has not paid his employees since the scandal erupted. In February, he penned a letter to his staff members saying he won’t be able to clear his dues as his accounts were frozen.
Choksi said: “I am constrained to write the present email to you all concerned, as a situation of fear and injustice has been created against me and our organization. But, now, with false allegations levelled against me of defrauding the PNB Bank and [the ensuing] media frenzy, the situation has gone grave, which is turning graver by day.
“It is very tough for me, as of now, to be clearing your dues or to pay the future salaries,
in view of the seizing of various bank accounts and other properties by the government agencies/investigating agencies.”
Choksi also blamed India’s investigating agencies of creating “a havoc, hell bent upon stopping the operations.”
The businessman added that he was committed to clearing the past dues of his employees once things return to normalcy.