PNB Scam: Mehul Choksi says he can’t return to India

 Mehul Choksi
Mehul Choksi

Mehul Choksi, owner of Gitanjali Group who is embroiled in the Rs 13,000 crore Punjab National Bank scam, has once again written to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), India’s investigating agency, saying he cannot return to India.

Responding to the CBI’s summons, Choksi said he cannot return to India as his passport has been suspended. “Regional Passport Office hasn’t communicated with me and my passport remains suspended,” Choksi wrote in a letter to the investigating agency. The 58-year-old, saying he has the highest respect for the CBI, added that he wasn’t making an excuse to not return to the country.

Choksi said noted that he was  “extremely held up” in his business abroad and is working hard to resolve issues due to the closure of his business in India. “Further I am unable to travel to India due to my persisting health condition,” Choksi said.

The business tycoon also lashed out at the media saying it was trying to blow the issue out of proportion. “I further inform that requiring me to join investigation, though leaving me helpless and information less, by various actions taken by multiple agencies is unfair. The manner in which the allegations have been exaggerated has left me completely defenseless,” Choksi said in the letter.

The Punjab National Bank scam, involving Choksi and Nirav Modi, is getting bigger day by day. But neither Choksi nor billionaire diamond merchant Nirav Modi has agreed to join the investigation launched by India’s investigating agencies.

Interestingly, both Choksi and Modi left the country before the fraud came to light.

Modi has also denied any wrongdoings, and said he couldn’t return to India due to businesses abroad.

In a letter to the CBI, Modi said central agency has taken away his fundamental rights to defend himself with its seizures.

“As you are aware my office servers have been seized from the Lower Parel office by CBI and thus I am unable to properly exercise my fundamental right to defend myself as per law and (have) been handicapped in a manner so as to disable me from giving any information,” he wrote in a letter.