New Delhi: Antiguan Prime Minister Gaston Browne on Tuesday said the citizenship of diamantaire Mehul Choksi, accused in the multi-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam, will be revoked in short order, as per local reports. “His citizenship was processed; he got through but the reality is his citizenship will be revoked and he will be repatriated to India; so there is recourse. It’s not a case that we are trying to provide any safe harbour for criminals, for those who are involved in financial crimes,” the prime minister said.
“We have to allow for due process. He has a matter before the court and as we said to the Indian Government, criminals have fundamental rights, too, and Choksi has a right to go to court and defend his position. But I can assure you after he has exhausted all of his legal options, he will be extradited,” he added.
Here is the Timeline of PNB case
- 1st January: Nirav Modi along with his family flees from India to New York
- 4th January: Mehul Choksi leaves India for USA from Mumbai international airport
- 29th January: PNB files the first complaint with CBI pegging the LoU scam at 280 crore rupees
- 31st January: CBI files the first FIR against Nirav Modi, his brother Nishal Modi, uncle Mehul Choksi and wife Ami Modi. Carries out raids and searches and opens a Look Out Circular against him.
- 15th February: PNB files two more complaint against Nirav Modi, Mehul Chowksi,the scam is now nearly Rs 13,000 crore or US $ 2 billion
- 15th February: Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi passport revoked. CBI gets diffusion notice
- 16th February: ED carries out raids and searches .
- 15th May: CBI files the first chargesheet
- 1st July: Interpol issues Red Corner Notice against Nirav Modi and his brother (Belgian national) Nishal Modi
- 8th July: Mehul Choksi arrives in Antigua. He took the citizenship in November 2017 and oath of allegiance on 17th January 2018
- 28th August: India formally seeks extradition of Nirav Modi
- 13th December: Interpol issues Red Corner Notice against Mehul Choksi
- 7th March 2019: UK home Secretary Sajid Wajid clears Extradition request of India. Sends the file to Westminster court
- 11th March: ED files supplementary chargesheet against Nirav Modi, his wife Ami Modi
- 15th March: Westminster court issues arrest warrant against Nirav Modi
- 19th March: Nirav Modi placed under arrest by Metropolitan Police London
- 20th March: Produced in the court and remanded in custody till 29th March
- 26th March: Paintings seized by IT Department auctioned off for Rs 59 crore
- 27th March: Joint Team of ED and CBI leaves for London
In several pleas to the court earlier, Choksi had claimed he was unable to return to India due to persistent health problems. Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi are wanted by the ED and the CBI for allegedly defrauding the PNB to the tune of Rs 13,400 crore, in collusion with a few of its employees. Choksi and Modi allegedly secured loans from overseas branches of mostly Indian banks against illegal letters of undertaking (LoUs) from PNB over a seven-year period.