NDA Painstakingly Attempting to Bury Lalit Modi Case: Cong

New Delhi
NDA Painstakingly Attempting to Bury Lalit Modi Case: Cong

Congress today hit back at BJP on the Lalit Modi controversy accusing the NDA government of "painstakingly attempting to bury the scandal".

A day after the BJP raked up the National Herald case, the AICC released two letters on the Lalit Modi matter written in 2013, one by then Finance Minister P Chidambaram and the then U K Chancellor of the Exchequer to bolster its case that deportation of the former IPL chief was the "appropriate expeditious remedy" for trying a fugitive like him.

Party's chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala told reporters that Modi government, including Finance Minister and Foreign Minister, has "painstakingly attempted to bury the scandal" by asserting that deportation of Lalit Modi was "not possible".

Both inside and outside Parliament, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj have also maintained that the only option was to proceed with extradition of Lalit Modi, he said, adding that the Prime Minister has still maintained silence on the whole issue.

"Modi government has taken this stance with full knowledge that extradition process is lengthy enough to take 8-10 years by which public memory will fade away from the scandal," he alleged.

He demanded that Prime Minister came clean before the nation on his commitment to bring back black money launderers and punish the ilk of Lalit Modi.

"Modi government must also state the reasons as to why it has continued to help an Indian fugitive like Lalit Modi," Surjewala said and renewed the demand for removal of Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.

Asked whether the Congress would bring a privilege motion against Swaraj for misleading Parliament over the issue of deportation of Lalit Modi, he said that the Congress Parliamentary Party would take "appropriate decision" in the matter.

A senior party leader, who declined to be identified, said that a breach of privilege case could also be made out against Jaitley.

In the letter to his U K counterpart, Chidambaram had specifically cited 2784 cases, where Emergency Certificates were issued to High Commission in five years up to 2013 and where deportation was done by UK authorities.

Modi government has refused to place in public domain various communications between Chidambaram and Osborne on the issue. Chidambaram had written three communications dated 08.07.2013, 21.08.2013 and 14.03.2014 for deportation of Lalit Modi instead of extradition.

With effect from May 14 last year, deportation law in the UK has even been further simplified by enactment of 'Immigration Act, 2014' which takes away even the right of appeal in most cases.

Section 10 of the 2014 Act provides for deportation, Surjewala said.

"What is most noteworthy is the fact that deportation of illegal immigrants from UK does not require the person being deported to be facing a criminal proceedings in the country of his origin," he said.

He claimed that Jaitley had contended in Parliament that as there was no criminal case against Lalit Modi in UK, extradition was the only option.

Alleging that "bundle of lies, deceit and deception" has been witnessed in government plans to help Lalit Modi escape the clutches of Indian law, Surjewala said that the Congress along with friendly parties will place the issue in public domain both inside and outside Parliament.

By helping Lalit Modi get travel documents on 01.08.2014 pursuant to request made by Swaraj, Modi government ensured that no case for deportation survives against him and extradition procedure itself would take nearly a decade, he alleged.

The Congress has renewed its demand on the Lalit Modi issue at a time when the BJP has alleged that 'Young Indian', a company in which Congress President Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul are said to have majority stake, had borrowed a sum of Rs one crore from a firm which was allegedly involved in converting black money into white.

Claiming that it was the "tip of the iceberg", the BJP has demanded that "the first family" of Indian politics should provide answers to questions being raised by it.

Next Story : Hardik Patel Arrested in Second Sedition Case
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