‘Is your conduct consistent with claim for fair trial & investigation?’, Delhi HC To Mehul Choksi

by pranjalipargaonkar
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New Delhi : The Delhi High Court on Wednesday questioned Mehul Choksi, an accused in the USD 2 billion PNB scam, whether his request for a fair hearing and investigation was consistent with his conduct. Choksi went to the US for treatment and later took citizenship of Antigua. This question was asked by the bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan to Choksi’s lawyer. The bench raised this question during the hearing on Choksi’s appeal, which he has filed against an order of a single judge.

Choksi’s plea requesting to allow him to see the Netflix series ‘Bad Boy Billionaires’ before airing was rejected. Advocate Vijay Aggarwal, appearing for Choksi, said that there is footage of his client in the series, in which he is allegedly shown in an incorrect way and therefore various hearings against him in India may be affected.

Netflix advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul told the bench that Choksi or his name is not mentioned in the trailer. A preliminary application based on this was filed before the single judge.

Netflix’s claim was opposed by Aggarwal and he has sought permission from the High Court to show the trailer of the series on the next hearing of the case i.e. September 29. During the hearing, the bench said that ‘When a constitutional bench is deciding whether to exercise its jurisdiction or not, the conduct of the petitioner also has some relevance’.

The single judge dismissed Choksi’s plea on the grounds that he had an alternative option available. The writ petition for filing a civil suit and enforcing a personal right is not negotiable. Aggarwal argued that the telecast of the series could affect his client’s fundamental right to an impartial hearing and investigation, hence the writ petition is for consideration. He urged the bench to refer the case back to the single judge for hearing as a writ petition.

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