Big jolt for Mehul Choksi as Bombay High Court junks his plea against ED


The Bombay High Court on Thursday rejected the petitions filed by businessman Mehul Choksi challenging the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) application seeking to declare him a fugitive economic offender.
“It did not find any infirmity in the application filed by the ED,” a single bench of Justice Sarang Kotwal said while dismissing Choksi’s plea.  The High Court in its order stated: “Firstly, I do not find any infirmity in the verification (in the application) and even otherwise, I find that all the requirements under Section 4 of the Fugitive Economic Offenders (FEO) Act and under Rule 3 of the FEO Rules are properly complied with in this case.” Choksi in his petitions had claimed several procedural lapses in the ED’s application. Choksi had challenged an August 2019 order passed by a special court saying it would hear the application filed by the ED seeking to declare Choksi a fugitive economic offender. ED had, in July 2018, filed the application seeking to declare Choksi a fugitive economic offender and confiscation of his
properties. Choksi claimed the agency had not followed proper procedure before filing the application and, hence, it stands vitiated. The bench, in its order, noted the application filed by ED was in the format laid down in the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act. In January 2020, the High Court had granted a stay on the final order to be passed by the Special Court proceedings. Justice Kotwal on Thursday vacated the stay.