Sushma Swaraj row: Lalit Modi not an ‘offender’, says his lawyer

By: | Published: June 15, 2015 10:48 PM

Amid the ongoing controversy over the clearance of Lalit Modi's travel documents, the former IPL chief's lawyer, Mehmood Abdi, on Monday said the latter is not an 'offender' or a fugitive and that the issue is being blown out of proportion.

Amid the ongoing controversy over the clearance of Lalit Modi’s travel documents, the former IPL chief’s lawyer, Mehmood Abdi, on Monday said the latter is not an ‘offender’ or a fugitive and that the issue is being blown out of proportion.

“A fugitive or an offender is a legal term which is, and which cannot be used so liberally as some media friends are using. Lalit Modi is not a fugitive. Which court has declared Lalit Modi as an offender? Lalit Modi is not an offender,” said Abdi.

“Lalit Modi has been staying with knowledge of everybody in UK, by following due process of UK immigration laws. Some channels have been saying Lalit Modi’s wife was not ill. Are they aware of medical advice?” he asked.

He further termed the controversy over the issue as a ‘political jamboree’, saying some people want to destabilize a popular government.

“This is political jamboree. Some people want to destabilize a popular government which has had no scams till now. What is the big deal if somebody said something over his admission? These are social obligations,” Abdi said.

“There was no blue-corner notice. It was a fabricated document, planted by his friends in BCCI for media consumption. I cannot judge the veracity of those mails. All that I am saying is that it’s not a big deal, and shouldn’t be unnecessarily blown out of proportion,” he added.

Abdi further pointed out that Modi has been in touch with all authorities, including the Mumbai Police, since he left for England.

“Ever since Mr. Lalit Modi broke the Sunanda Pushkar sweat equity issue on twitter, he was hounded by security agencies. From the day Lalit Modi went to England, he has been in communication with all authorities including the Mumbai police. When his address is known to everyone, where is the need to issue a blue corner notice?” he said.

“Now the people who are talking about impropriety should introspect. The UPA government hounded him here and in the UK. The people who are talking of propriety and non- propriety should introspect. Remember the Sarabjit Singh case? Sarabjit, rightly or wrongly was convicted of terrorism in Pakistan. But our government and the entire country, including me, was standing behind the request for his return to India on humanitarian grounds,” he added.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had on Sunday said 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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