Rising animosity of employees and customers, threat from business associates and ill-health are the reasons cited by diamantaire Nirav Modi's jeweller-uncle Mehul Choksi to avoid appearing before the CBI, officials said.
This has, however, not impressed the CBI officials who issued fresh summons to the uncle-nephew duo, asking them to join investigations as early as possible. The agency has made it clear to them that they are "obliged" to cooperate with the CBI.
In an email to the agency after its third summons on February 28, the first two being on February 19 and 23, Choksi said he was being "threatened by individuals with whom I have a business relationship". He went on to say, "as there has been a complete and sudden closure of business, my employees, customers, creditors etc have started to show their animosity towards me."
He also cited that his health and well-being is a concern to him and that if he is arrested, "then I would not be able to get proper healthcare and would be provided treatment only in a government hospital. I would be further denied treatment in a private hospital" and that he would be denied a doctor of his choice.
Choksi said his passport has been suspended by the authorities and he was undergoing medical treatment. "It is impossible for me to travel back to India. I further wish to point out that the Regional Passport Office, Mumbai has not given me any explanation as to why my passport has been suspended and as to how I am a security threat to India," he said.
Another claim by Choksi was that there is a bias against him created by various political parties and media. "There is a great unfairness which is prevalent against me and I would not get a fair treatment and a fair trial," he said, adding "multiple investigating agencies are after my life".
The agency had sent three summonses on February 19, 23 and 28 asking them to join the probe at the earliest. They were asked to appear on March 7.
Meanwhile, sources said CBI director Alok K Verma submitted a status report on Nirav and Choksi fraud cases to the Prime Minister's Office.