The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has asked an Interpol body to restore the red notice against Mehul Choksi, terming its earlier decision to drop his name from the list of serious shortcomings, procedural violations, overreach of mandate and mistakes.
The Commission for Control of Interpol’s Files (CCF), which had removed Choksi’s name from the list of fugitives based on his appeal last year, is a separate Interpol body that is “not under the control” of the Interpol Secretariat and is mainly staffed by elected lawyers from different countries where people can challenge decisions to declare them fugitives.
In 2018, the investigation agency and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) requested Interpol to issue a Red Notice against Mehul Choksi, which was later granted. In 2020, despite his appeals, the decision to issue the red notice remained unchanged.
The 195-member International Police Cooperation Organisation interpol has issued a red notice to locate and provisionally arrest a fugitive pending extradition, surrender, or similar legal action.
The CBI statement came a day after the CCF decision was reported, causing a huge political uproar. The agency broke its silence nearly four months after CCF’s decision to drop Mehul Choksi from the wanted list was received by it in November 2022, nearly a month after India had organised a grand Interpol General Assembly, it said.
The agency said that the CCF, which had rejected Choksi’s two previous appeals — in 2018, to not publish his name on the Red Notice list and in 2020, to remove his name from the list –agreed with his fresh plea in 2022, a year after an alleged abduction attempt from Antigua and Barbuda. Before arriving at any decision, the CCF hears from the agencies that have sought an absconder’s fugitive status. The CBI was also asked to provide its input on Choksi’s appeal.
A red notice is a request issued by Interpol to law enforcement agencies worldwide to locate and provisionally arrest a person who is wanted by a requesting country for extradition or other legal actions. The Red Notice is not an arrest warrant, but it is an international alert to law enforcement agencies to be on the lookout for the wanted person.
Also Read: Lok Sabha Passes Rs 1.48 Trillion Supplementary Grants Amid Protests