Mehul Choksi is still an Indian citizen, India tells Dominica court

Written By: Sidhant Sibal WION
New Delhi, India Published: Jun 14, 2021, 09:58 PM(IST)

File photo of Mehul Choksi Photograph:( Zee News Network )

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Choksi's 'declaration of renunciation' of Indian citizenship was not accepted by the Indian government

India, in an affidavit filled in Dominica Court, has said that fugitive businessman Mehul Choksi is "still" an Indian citizen and has opposed his bail.

The affidavit details how Choksi's "declaration of renunciation" of Indian citizenship was not accepted by the Indian government and "citizenship of Mehul Choksi may be decided as Indian".

In the affidavit filed on June 8 at the high court of justice, Dominica said, "The Indian citizenship of Mr MC has still not ceased as on date and therefore, his claim of renunciation of Indian citizenship is contrary to the laws in India as is completely erroneous", adding, "the claim of Mr MC being bogus, this Honourable court may kindly reject the said erroneous claim at the threshold".

The document, seen by WION, pointed out that Choksi had submitted his Indian passport to Indian High Commission in Georgetown, Guyana for renouncing his Indian citizenship on December 14, 2018. 

Under Section 8 of the Indian citizenship act, 1955, the declaration of renunciation should be registered and only then "a person shall cease to be a citizen of India". Read with Rule 38 of the act, the declaration of registration has to be made to India's ministry of home affairs through the Indian mission. 

While he did submit his passport, the Indian home ministry on January 29, 2019 "found deficiencies in the declaration and also "noted that Mr MC was an economic fugitive offender", advising Indian mission in Guyana to "consider rejection of his declaration of renunciation".

Ministry of external affairs also in a letter dated October 15, 2019, confirmed that his application of renunciation stood rejected by the Indian High Commission in Guyana and had communicated him on March 15, 2019.

The affidavit stated,"no entries regarding the application for surrender of Indian nationality were made in the consular register of the mission". This was further confirmed by MHA in its official memorandum on May 31, 2021.

His Indian passport, number Z3396732 was issued on September 10, 2015 from Mumbai. He acquired his Antigua and Barbuda nationality on November 16, 2017 with passport number AB007713. The Indian side in the affidavit also said that "concerned authorities may be directed to immediately transfer/deport/handover Mr Mehul Choksi to the Indian authorities".

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