Prime News, National (New Delhi), August 14:- The Antigua government has denied extraditing fugitive businessman Mehul Choksi to India, sources in the Enforcement Directorate have said. As per sources, the Antigua government has also said that it would not arrest Choksi as their Constitution prevents him from arrest.
The Antigua government has said they will protect Choksi as he has been given citizenship as per the rules, and his passport also cannot be revoked.
India has been trying to bring back the bank fraud accused from Antigua under the provision of a law of the island nation which provides for extradition of a fugitive to a designated Commonwealth country. However, sources say that the Antigua government has denied having any treaty with India as per which they will have to send Choksi back. India and Antigua do not have a bilateral extradition pact.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had on August 3 issued a gazette notification to make the Antiguan law enforceable and bring back Choksi. “As per the provisions of the Extradition Act, 1993 of Antigua and Barbuda, a fugitive may be extradited to a designated Commonwealth Country or a State with which there are general or special arrangement or a bilateral treaty,” a PTI report had said.
The notification specified that the provisions of India’s Extradition Act, 1962 shall apply to Antigua and Barbuda with retrospective effect from 2001 when the Caribbean nation notified India as designated Commonwealth Country under its extradition law. (MR, Inputs: Agencies).