Atul Gupta, one of many three Gupta brothers now in self-exile in Dubai, has misplaced a excessive courtroom bid to get a brand new passport from the South African authorities.
Atul, Ajay, and Rajesh Gupta are accused of siphoning billions of rands from South African parastatals by means of their shut affiliation with former president Jacob Zuma.
Atul and Rajesh are presently awaiting extradition to face prices in South Africa.
The brothers and their households fled to Dubai after Zuma was ousted from the presidency in 2018 by his ruling African Nationwide Congress. They’ve additionally been blacklisted by the US and the UK.
The Pretoria excessive courtroom dominated on Friday that Atul Gupta didn’t qualify for a South African passport as a result of he was a fugitive from justice.
Gupta had approached the South African consulate in Dubai for a brand new passport in 2018. This was earlier than he confronted extradition prices.
However the Division of House Affairs had rejected Gupta’s utility after the Nationwide Prosecuting Authority confirmed that it had issued a warrant of arrest in opposition to him for fraud and cash laundering offences associated to a dairy mission in Free State province that was supposed to learn rising Black farmers.
The mission collapsed regardless of specialists from Paras Dairy in India being introduced in to handle the mission, with hundreds of thousands of rands from the mission allegedly diverted to Gupta-owned corporations.
Regardless of the absence of the Gupta brothers, the trial of Gupta associates Iqbal Meer Sharma, Ronica Ragavan and Dinesh Patel, in addition to three senior former officers of the Free State authorities acquired below method on Monday within the Free State excessive courtroom.
Gupta challenged the refusal in February 2021 with the excessive courtroom motion, through which he claimed that as a South African citizen, the nation’s structure entitled him to a passport. Gupta, a part of the household initially from Saharanpur in India, was a naturalised South African citizen on the time.
Considerably, Choose Mncedisi Khumalo famous that Gupta had not offered a selected deal with in Dubai.
“All that (Gupta) appears ready to state is that he’s a South African citizen resident in Dubai. Nothing additional is disclosed. I’m of the view that this was not oversight on the applicant’s facet however was deliberate,” the judgment mentioned.
The courtroom declared that Gupta was a fugitive from justice and had no proper or capability to deliver an motion in courtroom. It additionally ordered Gupta to pay the prices of the appliance.
House Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi welcomed the judgment.
“Friday’s judgment exhibits that you just can not need to escape accountability in a rustic and search to take pleasure in using paperwork which are solely reserved for law-abiding residents of that nation,” Motsoaledi mentioned in a press release.
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