Sushma: Govt. did not contest verdict on Lalit passport

Updated - November 17, 2021 01:52 am IST

Published - July 24, 2015 02:08 am IST - NEW DELHI:

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday informed Parliament that the government did not contest court decisions to restore the passports of four persons, including the former IPL chief Lalit Modi, wanted by the Enforcement Directorate for alleged involvement in money laundering. Earlier in June, the Minister had admitted to recommending travel documents for Mr. Modi on humanitarian grounds.

In a written reply to the Rajya Sabha, Ms. Swaraj said in the past three years, the government had not filed appeals against court orders restoring the passports of four persons, including Mr. Modi.

The revoked passport of Mr.Modi, against whom a complaint under Section 16(3) of the FEMA Act, 1999, was filed by Enforcement Directorate, was restored on the direction of the High Court of Delhi in August 2014, the Minister said. Ms. Swaraj has been under fire from the Opposition for helping Mr. Modi procure travel documents from U.K. authorities. Demanding action against the Minister, the Opposition has stalled Parliament for the past three days.

Replying to a question on the passport restoration issue, Ms. Swaraj said the powers to comply with or contest the court orders on passport issues rest with the Consular, Passport and Visa division of External Affairs Ministry.

Apart from Mr. Modi, the passports of three others — Prashant Ahluwalia and Anand Jayaswal — both accused in the coal block allocation case filed by the CBI, and Naveen Badri Sriram, an accused in a CBI case registered on request of the ED, have been restored.

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