Antigua agency’s statement nails Modi government’s lie: Congress

Randeep Singh Surjewala

New Delhi : The Congress on Friday said that “complicity and connivance” of the government in the escape of jeweller Mehul Choksi, an accused in the PNB fraud, has been “exposed” after the Antigua government came clear on granting citizenship to Choksi.

The party also demanded to know why Prime Minister Narendra Modi had not raised Choksi’s citizenship during a meeting with his Antiguan counterpart Gaston Browne in April this year.

“A press statement by the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) of Antigua Barbuda reveals how the Ministry of External Affairs and agencies like SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India), Enforcement Directorate and CBI gave Choksi a clean chit,” Congress Spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala said.

Choksi had applied for Antiguan citizenship and got it in November 2017. He left India on January 4 this year.

“A complaint dated May 7, 2015 was filed with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs by one Vaibhav Khuraniya and R.M. Green Solution Pvt Ltd. A copy was also sent to the Prime Minister’s Office, ED and Serious Fraud Investigation Office. A similar complaint was filed to Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mumbai,” Surjewala said.

“Another person named Digvijaysinh Jadeja lodged an FIR in Ahmedabad Economic Offences Wing, Gujarat, against Mehul Choksi and others for fleecing him. The matter went to Gujarat High Court, where the state government was a party. In a special criminal application, Jadeja filed an affidavit on July 20, 2016 specifically pointing out that Choksi and others owed Rs 9,872 crore to banks and are likely to escape from India,” he added.

He said a complaint dated July 26, 2016 was filed by one Hariprasad to PMO. On May 3, 2017, one Vaibhav Khuraniya also emailed the complaint to SEBI.

“Why did the MEA provide clean chit to Choksi in May 2017 despite the complaints and evidence being available two years earlier, that is, May 7, 2015, July 20, 2016 and May 3, 2017,” Surjewala asked.

“Why did the PMO not act despite the complaint dated May 7, 2015 and direct any investigating agency to take action? Does it not put a question mark on the role of the PMO?” he asked.



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