A special court here on Friday refused to cancel a non-bailable warrant issued against fugitive diamond merchant Mehul Choksi, a key accused in the alleged Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam.
Special CBI judge V C Barde refused to give relief to Choksi after hearing arguments by his lawyers and the Central Bureau of Investigation's counsel A Limosine. Choksi had moved the court in June 2018 seeking cancellation of the warrant, issued by the court as he did not respond to summons and participate in the probe.
Last week, the court had rejected a similar plea made by him, seeking cancellation of a warrant issued in a case registered by the Enforcement Directorate under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act in the PNB scam.
In his plea before the CBI court, Choksi claimed that he could not travel to India because of his medical condition and also because he was facing a threat to his life. He never sought to evade probe agencies and had duly responded to all the communication received from them, his lawyers contended. Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi, in connivance with some bank officials, allegedly duped PNB of Rs 14,000 crore by obtaining Letters of Undertaking (LoUs) fraudulently.
An LoU is a bank guarantee under which a bank can allow its customer to raise money from another Indian bank's foreign branch.