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Supreme Court set aside Gujarat HC order quashing FIR against fugitive Mehul Choksi, wife [Read Order]

By LAWSTREET NEWS NETWORK      Dec 07, 2023      0 Comments
Supreme Court set aside Gujarat HC order quashing FIR against fugitive Mehul Choksi wife

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has recently set aside a Gujarat High Court order which quashed a 2015 FIR by the Gandhinagar police against fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi, and his wife in a cheating case.

Choksi has fled the country following the Rs 14,000 Cr Punjab National Bank loan scam case.

A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and S V N Bhatti asked the police to continue with the investigation without being influenced by any of the findings or observations made in the judgment of the High Court or in the present order.

"We also clarify that while conducting the investigation, the Investigating Officer(s) will keep in mind the rulings of this Court and High Courts interpreting Sections 406, 420, 464 and 465 etc. of the IPC," the bench said.

The top court allowed an appeal filed by Digvijaysinh Himmatsinh Jadeja.

The high court, in a judgment passed on May 5, 2017, allowed quashing of FIR registered on January 23, 2015, at police station Gandhinagar Zone.

The high court made a detailed factual examination and evaluation in the matter. The apex court said it is of the opinion that the said examination and evaluation should not have been done by the high court.

“There are disputed questions of fact, as the private respondent(s) have taken a plea that the two agreements dated July 25, 2013 and August, 2013 are not binding on the company – Geetanjali Jewellery Retail Limited (GJRL), which is a subsidiary of Gitanjali Gems Limited. counsel appearing on behalf of the appellant Jadeja in fact submits that the agreements are valid and binding," the court said.

The appellant submitted that in terms of the agreement dated August 13, 2013, the private respondents (Mehul Choksi and Priti Choksi) had agreed to return 24 karat pure gold bars for which the consideration or price stood paid, but were in deposit with GJRL in fiduciary capacity.

The appellant referred to documents in the form of confirmation letters, which are signed by Santosh Srivastava as the Managing Director at GJRL and Shivendra Singh, Associate Vice-President (Finance), on behalf of GJRL, as well as the statement of accounts, which again is signed by those persons.

“We should not go into these aspects, as it is a matter to be considered and examined in the investigation. A wrong may be civil wrong, or in a given case be a civil wrong and equally constitute a criminal offence. The ingredients of a criminal offence should be satisfied. We would refrain to make detailed observations in this regard, though we have considered the said notice before passing this order," the bench said.

The apex court said it is suffice it is to observe that the high court should not have examined and recorded conclusion on the disputed fact to quash the FIR.

With regard to role of Priti Mehul Choksi, the High Court said rhat a wife/spouse could not be said to be involved vicariously.

"We believe that these observations are general observations... We would not like to make any comments as it is only upon investigation, that a specific role attributable to respondent – Priti Mehul Choksi, if any, would be ascertained,” the bench said. 


[Read Order]

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