'Security threat' label slapped on Choksi

Mehul Choksi, the diamantaire accused of defrauding Punjab National Bank, has said in a letter that he has been classified as a "security threat to India" for the suspension and revocation of his passport.

By Our Special Correspondent
  • Published 9.03.18
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Mehul Choksi

New Delhi: Mehul Choksi, the diamantaire accused of defrauding Punjab National Bank, has said in a letter that he has been classified as a "security threat to India" for the suspension and revocation of his passport.

"I bring to your notice that on 16. 02. 2018, I received an email from the Passport Office which stated that my Passport has been suspended due to the reason 'Security Threat to India'," Choksi said in his letter to the CBI, dated March 7.

"I further wish to point out that the Regional Passport Office Mumbai has not given me any explanation as to why my passport has been suspended and as to how I am a Security Threat to India. This goes to show that my Passport has been suspended in a manner which violates my Constitutional Rights," he added in the letter.

Section 10(3) (c) of the Passports Act, 1967, under which Choksi's passport has been revoked, says: "If the passport authority deems it necessary so to do in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of India, friendly relations of India with any foreign country, or in the interests of the general public...."

Choksi, or whoever drafted the letter, is polite to a fault. "I want to assure your good office and good self that I am in no manner dictating the terms of my appearance," the letter said.

Choksi said he was not a "fugitive", but had only travelled abroad for business purposes and that too prior to the registration of the FIR against him. He said the issue was being "politicised" and accused the media of portraying him as a "convict" and denying him a fair trial. According to Choksi, the media reports were in violation of his basic constitutional and fundamental rights.

"Various political parties in India have been politicising the issue with a view to glorify their own interests. The entire reports being published in newspapers, various statements made by members of various political parties and the trial by media have therefore left me remediless and therefore a bias has been caused against me," Choksi wrote.

"The different media reports portray as if I have already been convicted by the courts of India. They have caused great prejudice to my fundamental rights enshrined by the Constitution of India. Right to life and right to fair trial are quintessential fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution. The various news reports and publications against me violate those rights," he said.

Multiple probe agencies, Choksi said, were after his life in a "gross abuse of process of law".