Sushma Sawaraj-Lalit Modi row: Prashant Bhushan calls for creation of ‘conflict of interest’ law

By: | Updated: June 15, 2015 6:07 PM

In the aftermath of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj acknowledging the assistance provided by her office with regards to former IPL chairman Lalit Modi's travel papers, senior advocate Prashant Bhushan on Monday called for her resignation while also urging the authorities to look into the creation of a 'conflict of interest' law.

In the aftermath of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj acknowledging the assistance provided by her office with regards to former IPL chairman Lalit Modi’s travel papers, senior advocate Prashant Bhushan on Monday called for her resignation while also urging the authorities to look into the creation of a ‘conflict of interest’ law.

“Sushma Swaraj was the External Affairs Minister, Lalit Modi at that time was an absconder from the law enforcement authorities of India. And, that is why on the instance of the Indian Government the British Government had imposed some restriction on his travel. So, she interceded on his behalf to remove that restriction. She interceded with the British government at a time when her daughter was his lawyer,” Prashant Bhushan said.

“This was, in my view, totally inappropriate. And, in fact there should be conflict of interest laws in this country which make it a offence for a person who is a public servant to do an official act in favour of a person from whom you or your family are receiving any benefit. Since her daughter was receiving some fees from him, therefore, it was inappropriate for her to act in her official capacity on his behalf,” he added.

Sushma Swaraj on Sunday had said that she had taken a humanitarian view of Lalit Modi’s case since his wife was suffering from cancer.

She further said that British MP Keith Vaz had spoken to her on the same, adding she believes that giving an Indian citizen ’emergency travel documents’ cannot spoil relations between India and the UK.

Vaz, who is facing an inquiry in the UK over the role he played in Modi receiving his travel papers, said that he had checked with the Indian Government before taking any action and added that he had received a ‘no objection’ from New Delhi.

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