A massive row over Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj helping Lalit Modi, the controversial former chief of the Indian Premier League, obtain British travel documents, threatened to escalate on Tuesday as it emerged that a top foreign ministry official was apparently kept in the dark.
Sujatha Singh, who was foreign secretary at the time Lalit Modi got emergency travel documents in July last year, has indicated to NDTV that she was not consulted.
“I have no idea about this case. I don’t recall a single paper related to this,” said Ms Singh, who was asked to quit in January this year, five months before her tenure was to end.
Her comment could give more ammo to opposition parties like the Congress, who allege that the foreign minister went out of her way to facilitate Lalit Modi, under investigation by the Enforcement Directorate for corruption linked to the multi-billion dollar cricket league.
Lalit Modi’s passport was revoked by the previous UPA government in 2010. In August last year, weeks after the former IPL chairman received travel papers in Britain, the Delhi High Court restored his passport. The opposition has questioned why the government never appealed against that court order despite a blue corner notice against Lalit Modi, which means that his whereabouts have to be known to the government and investigators at all times.