New Delhi: Responding to the fresh set of summons sent by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), absconding jeweller Mehul Choksi again wrote a letter to the investigative agency stating that was impossible for him to return to India and join the investigation due to the suspension of his passport and ill-health.
“Regional Passport Office hasn't communicated with me and my passport remains suspended. I have deepest respect for your offices and assure you that I am not making any excuse, whatsoever to travel to India,” Choksi said.
In a detailed e-mail reply to the CBI's notice seeking his appearance, he added, “I am extremely held up in my business abroad and am working hard to resolves the issues it is facing due to the unnecessary closure of business in India due to untenable allegations. Further I am unable to travel to India due to my persisting health condition.”
On the first week of this month CBI had sent fresh summons a to designer diamond jewellery businessman Nirav Modi and his uncle Choksi to join investigations immediately. The agency had earlier sent summons on February 19, 23 and 28 asking them to appear on March 7.
“I reiterate that I am abroad and have earlier also responded to your notices. Surprisingly, the issues raised remain unaddressed, making my fear of safety rise to extreme levels. Media continues to conduct a trial by itself and blow every issue out of proportion,” he said.
“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 added.
Choksi, Modi and others are being investigated by the CBI and ED after the bank fraud recently came to light, following a complaint by the PNB that they had allegedly cheated the nationalised bank to the tune of Rs 12,000 crore, with the purported involvement of a few employees of the bank The CBI and the ED have registered two FIRs each to probe the case.
Both Choksi and Modi have left the country before criminal cases were lodged against them. They have, however, denied any wrongdoing. The ED, a central probe agency under the union finance ministry, is investigating if the allegedly defrauded bank funds were laundered and proceeds of crime were subsequently used by the accused to create illegal assets and black money.