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MEHUL CHOKSI

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Jeweller and businessman

NAME – Mehul Chinubhai Choksi

DATE OF BIRTH- 5 may 1959

PLACE OF BIRTH- Bombay

FATHER’S NAME-   Mr. Chinubhai Choksi

SIBLING- Chetan Chinubhai Choksi

EDUCATION- G.D Modi college

OCCUPATION- Jeweller and businessman

  • Mehul Chinubhai Choksi is the owner of Gitanjali group, a retail jewellery company with 4000 stores in India. He is an Indian-born fugitive businessman, residing in Antigua and Barbuda, who is wanted by the Indian authorities for criminal authorities, criminal breach of trust, cheating and dishonestly including delivery of property, corruption and money laundering.
  • The SEBI ( securities and exchange board of India) penalized Choksi, Gitanjali Gems & director of Gitanjali Dhanesh Sheth with fine of Rs. 5 crore for violating various regulations.

AWARDS-

Mehul choksi, the chairman and the managing director of Gitanjali Group, was a winner of the “Outstanding Entrepreneurship Award” at the prestigious Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards (APEA) that  took place at the Hotel Taj ,New Delhi in 2011. He received the award from justice Markandey Katju, chairman of the Indian reunification Association and William NG, president of Enterprise Asia.

PNB FRAUD CASE-

The PNB fraud case relates to fraudulent LOUs worth Rs. 11356.84 crore issued by PNB at its Brady house branch in Mumbai, making PNB liable for the amount.

The fraud was allegedly organized by jeweller and designer nirav modi, his wife ami modi, brother nishal modi and uncle mehul choksi, all the partners of the firm, along with PNB officials & directors of nirav modi & mehul choksi’s firms have been named in a chargesheet by CBI for allegedly cheating the PNB to the tune of Rs. 14000 crore through issuance of fraudulent LOUs.

The entire family absconded in early 2018, before the news of scam broke in india. The enforcement directorate has begun attaching the assets of accused & is seeking to immediate confiscation under the fugitive economic offenders ordinance.

  • CASES :
  • MEHUL CHOKSI VS STATE OF MAHARASHTRA –

Choksi moved to the court in june 2018, seeking cancellation of the warrant issued by the court as he did not respond to summons & participate in the probe.

On 7 june 2019  learned counsel for appellant filed an affidavit in court. the copy of which has also been served on counsel for respondent no.2/UOI. On perusal of both affidavits, the court directed to obtain the necessary medical record & the test report on basis of which such medical report has been submitted. The learned counsel will then place the medical report along with test report before the head of department cardiology of j.j hospital, who is requested to give his expert view about the status of the appellant’s health condition & possibility of his movement or travel to india.

The UOI in its affidavit has offered to provide an expert medical team to bring the appellant from Antigua to India by air ambulance with proper medical assistance. The expert is also to give his opinion as to whether the appellant is physically in a position to travel.

Dec 2019- The enforcement directorate, had earlier moved an application before a special PMLA court to declare choksi a fugitive economic offender under section 17(1) FEO act 2018. The accused subsequently moved to high court seeking a stay on the case proceedings in the prevention of money laundering act.

The appellant seeking permission to cross examine certain persons under section 4 of FEO exam  which was rejected. Therefore, learned counsel for the appellants pressed application for interim relief containing our attention to application under section 4 & permission to cross examine. The counsel for appellant states, the proceeding before the special court be stayed.

The learned counsel for respondent stated that the procedure under FEO act is complementary to the prevention of money laundering act 2002 & as such proceeding under section 4 need to be decided. It is also submitted that the affidavit tendered by directorate are in accordance with law & there is no fault. Division bench of justice BP Dharmadhikari rejects the interim applications.

6 January 2020- The leaned advocate for respondent, enforcement directorate seeking adjournment for filing reply. Leaned counsel for applicant submits that the case before the trial court is fixed for final argument & if interim relief is not granted then the application will render infructuous.

 In meanwhile, learned lower court shall not pass final order in the matter. The case is still under trial.

  • MEHUL CHOKSI VS STATE OF KARNATAKA-

The city police had filed FIR under section 406, 420, 468 IPC against mehul choksi at the central police station on january 29 and march 18 2015, accusing him of swindling Rs. 10.48 crore from jeweler SV Hariprasad after entering into the agreement to set up a franchise of Gitanjali jewels in Bengaluru. Choksi went rogue on the agreement and he supplied substandard stock, defaulted on the rent and the other expenses to be borne by him, forcing Hariprasad to approach the police.

Bengaluru police had issued two notices to choksi on 27 march & 6 april 2015 asking him appear before the investigating officer. Choksi ignored the notices, instead his legal team moved sessions court seeking anticipatory bail. The prosecution strongly objected it. However, the court granted him bail on april 23 with strict condition to surrender his passport and also appear before the investigating officer with 25 days. Choksi again filed petition before the sessions court on may 13 2015, seeking reprieve from surrendering passport as per bail condition. The court refused any relief to him and dismissed the petition. On may 1, he filed a fresh petition claiming he was suffering from various health complications & thus unable to join investigations. The court granted him 5 days. But the passport was still not surrendered. There was no attempt made to inform the court that the bail condition was not being fulfilled and could even be cancelled on that ground. Concluding it to be a civil case and not criminal, choksi moved to high court seeking quashing of FIRs against him. The city police’s closure report claiming that the case was a civil dispute and not criminal, was slammed before additional judicial magistrate. Later on, the state government also issued an order stating that the case should be probed by economic offences wing of its CID unit. Choksi once again managed to get interim stay on the CID probe citing technical loopholes and fled away till they got vacated.

  • CHOKSI FILED PLEA AGAINST “BAD BOY BILLIONAIRES” –

Fugitive Indian businessman Mehul choksi approached the Delhi high court against streaming platform Netflix’s upcoming, web series ‘bad boy billionaries’.

The Netflix series will shed some light on the lives of fraud accused businessmen like Vijay Malaya, Mehul choksi, Nirav modi and Ramalinga Raju.

During the hearing, advocate Vijay Aggarwal appearing for Choksi stated that the only request being made that they be allowed a preview before the series is released.

Senior advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul on behalf of Netflix challenged the maintainability of the writ petition. He asserted that OTT- platforms were not regulated by government authorities, & the only remedies before Choksi were to either make representation under section 69 A of information technology act or file a suit for Netflix.

Single judge bench of high court presided by Navin chawla  dismissed the petition filed by Mehul choksi, seeking the pre-screening of a Netflix documentary “Bad Boy Billionaires”.

Justice chawla opined that a writ petition was not maintainable in the present case. “ I my opinion, a writ for enforcement of a private right, in this manner, is not maintainable” he said. The court stated that the appropriate remedy in the present case was filing a civil suit and not a writ petition.

By Shivangi Khanna

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