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Vasundhara Raje ‘pushed Lalit Modi plea, said keep it secret’, documents purportedly show

After Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje has been accused of testifying in favor of former IPL chairman Lalit Modi's UK immigration application way back in 2011.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: June 17, 2015 8:35 am
lalit modi, Vasundhara Raje, lalit modi controversy, Vasundhara Raje lalit modi row, modi uk travel documents, raje modi row, sushma-lalit row, lalit sushma row, raje, lalit modi travel document, lalit modi uk travel, vasundhara, sushma swaraj, sushma row, ipl, former ipl chief lalit modi, modi raje friendship, india news, nation news Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje. ((Source: PTI Photo)

The raging controversy over External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s links to former IPL chief Lalit Modi took a new direction Tuesday with the release of documents that purportedly show Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje secretly supporting his bid to obtain UK immigration papers in 2011.

Documents released by a PR firm, acting on behalf of Modi’s lawyer Mehmood Abdi, suggest that Raje, who was then the state opposition leader, specified that she supported “any immigration application that Lalit Modi makes, but do so on the strict condition that my assistance will not become known to the Indian authorities”.

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“This witness statement is provided on the strict understanding that its contents and the identity of its maker are treated confidentially and that it is used only for the purposes stated in it,” stated the unsigned three-page note, dated August 18, 2011.

READ: Raje’s testimony from page 54 (App users click here)

It also contains a lengthy description of Raje’s identity, credentials and career, starting with the fact that her father, the last Maharaja of Gwalior, George Jivajirao Scindia, was “a prominent Indian politician, having been elected to the Lok Sabha in 1962 as a member of the Indian National Congress”.

Reacting to the release of the documents, Raje said in Jaipur: “Of course, I know the (Modi) family. I have always known them… (But) I do not know what documents they are talking about,” she said.

The documents released by Abdi’s team also contain purported statements from the lawyer himself and Robert Nicholls, founding partner of a South Africa-based security firm contracted by IPL, in support of Modi’s application to the UK Border Agency to allow him to remain in the UK as the representative of an overseas business — Indofil Industries Ltd.

Modi moved to London in 2010 after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) launched a number of investigations against him, including on charges of alleged money-laundering involving crores of rupees.

He subsequently failed to appear before the ED, despite repeated summons, prompting the agency to approach the Ministry of External Affairs seeking the withdrawal of his passport. Modi’s passport was revoked by the Regional Passport Officer in Mumbai on March 3, 2011 — it was restored by the Delhi High Court on August 27, 2014.

Swaraj had admitted on Sunday that she had helped Modi obtain British travel papers last August on “humanitarian grounds” so that he could be with his wife who was undergoing treatment for cancer in Portugal.

The main Opposition party, the Congress, had demanded the resignation of Swaraj for helping Modi and sought an explanation from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, claiming that the minister wouldn’t have acted without his “express approval”.

The controversy rose on Sunday after the UK-based Sunday Times reported that “leaked correspondence” between influential Labour MP Keith Vaz and head of UK Visas and Immigration Sarah Rapson show that Swaraj helped facilitate travel documents for Modi.

The newspaper reported that on July 31, Vaz wrote to Rapson, questioning the initial decision to deny Modi’s plea for travel papers. According to the paper, Vaz wrote: “The foreign minister of India (Sushma Swaraj) has spoken to me, making it very clear that the Indian government have no objection to the travel document being granted. Mrs Swaraj has also spoken to Sir James Bevan who, even though he was on leave, said he would speak to the relevant person in the Home Office. Frankly, everyone has been involved in this apart from Ban Ki-moon (the UN secretary-general).”

Bevan is the British High Commissioner to India. Less than 24 hours later, says the paper, Modi was granted his travel documents.

 

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  1. H
    Harry Bahl
    Jun 17, 2015 at 3:33 am
    For the future of the country A) We need to stop media trial ! B ) All political parties should refrain from accusing each other !C) Leave Lalit Modi alone, let the law take it's own course ! All political parties should instruct there spokes persons to have a healthy debate ! They need to send a positive message to one and all. They need to know among the audience are also children....... Our future, countries future !
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    1. V
      Vikrant
      Jun 16, 2015 at 11:53 pm
      So Lalit Modi is criminal because MAA Beta said so? Was he convicted by any court? If he was a fugitive than why didnt Maa Beta's government start his extradition process? Maa Beta were running their government like mafia with mijisters acting as henchmen. So they couldnt do anything legally and couldnt get him extradited.
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      1. Virendra Sason
        Jun 16, 2015 at 9:38 pm
        :----:भारतीयों को कांग्रेसी काजी की जगह बीजेपी काजी महगा पड़ा :----: कश्मीर की जनता अपने काजी से तंग आ चुकी थी अतः उन्होंने काजी बदलने के लिए ईरान के राजा के पास गए । काजी बदलने की बिनती की। राजा ने कहा कि यहाँ कई काजी लाइन हाजिर है चुन लो । कश्मीरिओ ने, उस काजी को चुना जो उन्हें वहां काजू पिस्ता बादाम खिला रहा था। काजी चुन कर वे राजा से मिले। ईरान के राजा ने कहा ये तो बड़ा शैतान और निर्दई है। कश्मीरी नहीं माने, तो राजा ने हा कर दी। काजी को साथ लेकर कश्मीर पहुंचे तो रास्ते में कुछ लोग मुर्दे को कब्रिस्तान में दफ़न करने जा रहे थे। काजी ने रोक कर, कफ़न हटवा कर मुर्दे का मुह देखा और मुर्दे का नाक काट लिया। कश्मीरी जनता ने पूछा ऐसा क्यों ? काजी ने कहा कि यहाँ के लोगो की तो मैं खबर ले लूँगा लेकिन स्वर्ग मे कौन बताएगा की हकूमत बदल गई है।
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        1. K
          Kaliyug
          Jun 17, 2015 at 12:57 am
          Whatever Lalit did should be scrutinized by the Indian courts, if he was NOT supposed to travel and the politicians helped him do that, then the courts should arrest the errant politicians. At this time it does not look like anything was against him, people like Quartrocchi escaped from India. the Italians who shot the fisherman in Kerala are no where to be heard in the news. The 3G scam artists are running around free planning their next robbery. I think the media has stopped looking for the real crooks/
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          1. S
            shankar
            Jun 17, 2015 at 1:24 am
            People like you make bjp a cheap party. Let us face the issue boldly. Not hide under someone's petticiat
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