Her supporters recall her early rise in politics and the fact that she was Haryana’s youngest cabinet minister in 1977 at the age of 25. Today, 38 years later, Sushma Swaraj finds herself facing accusations of having lobbied on behalf of an Indian fugitive as the country’s external affairs minister.
Enforcement Directorate is probing foreign exchange (FEMA) violations amounting to Rs 425 crore in IPL TV rights deal awarded to World Sports Group by Lalit Modi in 2009. Blue-corner notice pending at all Indian ports/airports; if he is traced anywhere, he should be handed over to ED. The former IPL czar has been in London since 2010 after just one interrogation session with I-T department and ED in Mumbai. UPA government revoked his passport in March 2011 but it was restored by Delhi high court in Aug 2014.
The BJP and Swaraj’s defence has hinged on the fact that all she did was discharge her duties and attempt to act in a humanitarian manner, Lalit Modi’s lawyer on Monday also lauded the minister saying that his client had always been in compliance with British laws.
The opposition accuses the government of protecting Lalit Modi, both ministries blame each other for not challenging a court decision to restore his passport cancelled in 2010 after he left for the UK amid charges of financial irregularities linked to IPL. The opposition has attacked the government for not challenging Lalit Modi’s passport despite a blue corner notice that requires him to keep the authorities informed about his whereabouts at all times.
“The government is a collective. MEA should have filed an appeal in consultation with the finance and home ministries,” said Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma.