Diamond merchant Mehul Choksi, has formally surrendered his Indian citizenship. Choksi is wanted in the Rs 13,000-crore Punjab National Bank fraud case.
According to the government sources, Choksi had technically lost his Indian citizenship the moment he acquired Antiguan citizenship. This is because India does not allow dual citizenship. He had acquired Antiguan citizenship in November 2017, although this was unknown at the time.
However, India on Monday emphasized that it will continue to request Antigua to revoke his citizenship. Once the government revokes his current citizenship, his Indian citizenship will be restored. Since India has only an extradition arrangement with Antigua, such a process will facilitate faster extradition.
But the Antigua government states that since India is also a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Section 7 of the country’s Extradition Act, 1993 does provide a scope for acting on India’s request of sending him back.
Choksi surrendered his passport to the Indian high commission in Guyana by paying up the mandatory $177 needed to give up Indian citizenship.