A review of the “four fugitives” that will wipe away falsehood and reveal the truth.
Hardly a day passes when we don’t hear the NaMo haters accuse the present government of letting Lalit Modi, Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi flee our country despite being looters of lots of illegal lucre running into crores.
The tragedy is that this perception of the NaMo government’s failure on a crucial issue is being spread by Opposition louts who simply hate the BJP. And the pity is that this lot includes lazy TV anchors who have failed to do the basic hard work needed. Worse, the perception has been perpetuated because of the ruling government’s suicidal silence on the issue.
A review of the above “four fugitives” will wipe away falsehood and reveal the truth.
Let’s start with Lalit Modi, the scion of a flourishing corporate family, and the Moghul of 20-20 cricket played under the Indian Premier League. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) registered a Prevention of Money Laundering Act case against Modi following an FIR filed by the Chennai Police in October 2010 on a complaint by the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
Modi left India in 2010 as agencies such as ED and Directorate of Revenue Intelligence began to probe his business dealings. Modi, for his part, claims there is a threat to his life. And, remember, it was the UPA which was in power then.
Swaraj’s timely intervention has prevented India from being soiled with the blood of a wife suffering from cancer.
Modi has been living in the UK since then on an “investor” visa scheme which allows successful applicants to live in Britain in return for a minimum £1million investment in government gilts.
However, he could not travel outside the UK because after his Indian passport had been revoked by the UPA government in 2011 for evading Indian authorities who wanted to question him for alleged serious foreign exchange violations.
Hence, when his wife was reported to require an urgent cancer surgery sometime July 2014, Sushma Swaraj, our Foreign Minister, approached the UK authority concerned to explain plight on mere humanitarian grounds. As she said in her stirring speech in Parliament where she was accused of helping an Indian fugitive,
“Did I ask for travel documents to Lalit Modi? No. So what did I do?” she said.
“I left the decision to the British government. I did not keep any role for myself in the decision. They could have decided either way… Had they decided not to give, the impact of my communication would have ended.”
As it transpired very soon, Mrs Swaraj’s communication to the British authorities proved to be nothing but a humane act. On August 27, 2014, the Delhi High Court decided to restore Lalit Modi’s Passport. He could thereafter freely travel anywhere he wanted. All the hue and cry among the lout groups had turned out to be vicious. In fact, that judicial verdict was a slap on the UPA face because the Delhi Court’s order said that “Modi’s passport should be restored since materials taken into consideration while revoking his passport were “extraneous and irrelevant.” In retrospect, Swaraj’s timely intervention might well have prevented India from being soiled with the blood of a wife suffering from cancer.
In August 2015 (the NDA government’s reign), the ED had moved the Interpol to get a Red Corner Notice (RCN) issued against Modi but the international police body has not obliged it yet in this regard. Interpol has said a Red Corner Notice could be issued against an individual “only when sufficient judicial data is provided” with a summary of facts and “a clear description of the criminal activities of the wanted person with time and location of the activity and charges”.
In March 2016, a special court in Mumbai issued an order allowing the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to begin extradition proceedings against Lalit Modi in connection with its money laundering probe against him and others. However, the ED did not approach the Ministry of External Affairs to initiate the extradition proceedings to bring back Modi to India. Why? Because, as an ED official said, “Before sending extradition request against the fugitive, it is necessary to file a charge sheet against him; that is yet to be submitted in court.” (ibid). Further, note the ED is pursuing 17 cases (involving Rs. 2,200 crores) out of which “the Tamil Nadu Police in Chennai has not completed the investigations and, therefore, no charge sheet has been filed against Modi.”(ibid).
So, any suggestion from the louts and the lazy as to how sense is to be put into in the Tamil Nadu police? In the kind of ultra co-operative federalism our country has embraced, should President’s Rule be imposed on Tamil Nadu State for facilitating the extradition of Lalit Modi?
Yes, the NaMo government did NOT let Lalit Modi flee; nor has it closed the cage on him. QED.
Come to Vijay Mallya, the Moghul of Bubbly Days Forever.
Could the Passport of Lalit Modi and Vijay Mallya have been revoked so as to stop them from leaving India?
Mallya flew off from India on March 2, 2016. That, according to the then Attorney-General, Rohatgi, was “Hardly 24 hours earlier, the consortium of 13 Banks to which he owed over Rs.9,000 crore, urgently moved a three-judge Bench of the Supreme Court to pass an order directing Mr Mallya to appear before the court, passport in hand.” They wanted the court to restrain Mr Mallya, a Rajya Sabha member, from leaving the country.” Prompted by the urgency of the banks’ pleas, the then Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur posted the case for the next day.
At the time he was fleeing, there was a rumour among our loots that although a Look Out Circular (LOC) had been issued with the aim of stopping Mallya at the airport, it was, on its way, halted by somebody – nobody knew at whose behest.
None of our lazy and lout groups looked at the rules for issuing a LOC. These ladies and gentlemen are hereby requested to see those rules set out.
First of all, please understand the purpose of a LOC. Here it is:
A “Look out Circular (LOC)” is a circular letter used by authorities to check whether a travelling person is wanted by the police. It may be used at immigration checks at international borders (like International airports or seaports). In India, LOC has a given preformed which have identification parameters and help police to catch the persons concerned.
Now, look at the rules of issuing a LOC.
The guidelines for issuing a LOC are contained in the Union Home Ministry’s Office Memorandum dated 27th October 2010 which is attached for the information of the readers. Part 8 of that Memorandum gives the guidelines for the issuance of a LOC. And 8(g) therein lays down that “Recourse to LOC is to be taken in cognizable offences under IPC (Indian Penal Code) or other penal laws….”
It should be crystal clear to all — including the lazy and lout groups — that there was no way whatsoever to issue a LOC to stop Mallya, or Lalit Modi, for that matter, in order to stop them boarding their “flee” flights to London or wherever.
Could the Passport of the above two have been revoked so as to stop them from leaving India? No way.
Clause (d) of Section 10(3) of The Passports Act, 1967 lays down that
(d) if the holder of the passport or travel document has, at any time after the issue of the passport or travel document, been convicted by a court in India for any offence involving moral turpitude and sentenced in respect thereof to imprisonment for not less than two years.
It should be again crystal clear to all — including the lazy and lout groups — that there was no way whatsoever revoke the Passports of to stop Mallya or Lalit Modi for boarding their flight to London or wherever each of them wanted to go.
Finally, there are the flying fugitives, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi.
The lawyers of such thieves are smarter than the laws of our country.
These two businessmen have been proved to possess the cunning foresight of cunning criminals. According to sources, said the INAS news agency, a LOC was issued against Nirav Modi, his wife Ami, brother Nishal Modi and Mehul Choksi in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case on January 31, 2018— two days after the CBI received a complaint from the PNB.
To their shock, the CBI found that all the above LOC targets had fled the country before the notices were issued. While Nirav and his brother Nishal left India on January 1, his wife Ami, a US citizen, and Choksi left on January 6.
Now, the CBI is left only with finished imaging computers seized during searches at Modi’s properties on February 3, 4 and 21.
However, the NaMo government is hounding the jewel thieves in various permissible ways, even as the looters are not physically traceable a month after they simply vamoosed and vanished.
Yes, the lawyers of such thieves are smarter than the laws of our country. Do the lazy and the louts have suggestions to overcome this problem? Meanwhile, the NaMo government is grimly in chase of the looters, their loot, and those who abetted them.
1. Text in Blue points to additional data on the topic.
2. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.
His freelancing career began in "The Times of India" with a sports article published when he was a month shy of 20 years of age. He was also a regular political affairs columnist first for rediff.com for five years or so and then shifted to sify.com. He also wrote extensively for niticentral.com "till it stopped publication."
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