New Delhi: India in an affidavit filled in Dominica Court has said that 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 8th June 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 14th December 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 29th January 2019 “found deficiencies in the declaration and also “noted that Mr MC was an economic fugitive offender” advising Indian mission in Guyana to “consider the rejection of his declaration of renunciation”.
Ministry of external affairs also in a letter dated 15th October 2019, confirmed that his application of renunciation stood rejected by the Indian High Commission in Guyana and had communicated him on 15th March 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 31s May 2021.
His Indian Passport, number–Z3396732 was issued on 10th September 2015 from Mumbai. He acquired his Antigua and Barbuda nationality on 16th November 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”.