A court in Dominica has put on hold the deportation of fugitive diamond jeweler Mehul Choksi, who was arrested in the Caribbean island nation while trying to escape to Cuba from Antigua, where he had been living since 2018. Antigua Prime Minister Gaston Browne had asked Dominica to send him back to India directly but this has been contested by his lawyers. Mehul Choksi can only be sent back to Antigua & Barbuda since he is a citizen of the Caribbean island nation & not India, the fugitive businessman's legal team in Delhi has said. The next hearing in the matter on Friday at 9 am local time. Mehul Choksi's legal team in Dominica had filed a petition after they were allegedly not given access to him, local media reported. They also claimed that "marks of torture" have been reported on his body. Reportedly, the Indian government has reiterated that diplomatic channels will be used to bring back the fugitive jeweler, who is wanted in connection with the Punjab National Bank (PNB) loan fraud case. The diamond jeweler, along with his nephew Nirav Modi, is wanted by Indian investigating agencies for allegedly swindling Rs 13,500 crore as loans from state-run Punjab National Bank using fake documents. Nirav Modi, jailed in London, is contesting his extradition to India.
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