Kochi: RSP leader and Lok Sabha MP N K Premachandran today criticised Sushma Swaraj for equating the Lalit Modi case with a petition that he had forwarded to the External Affairs Minister, seeking government’s intervention in the case of the husband of a resident of his constituency, who had spent 18 years in jail in Oman. In an open letter to Swaraj, Premachandran,who came under attack from Swaraj in the LS during an adjournment motion on the Lalit Modi controversy, said he had put it on record of having specifically written to her for government intervention in the case of Madhavan Pillai Sivan Pillai, jailed in Oman.
“I am sure you will concede the fact that my request to you was for “humanitarian assistance” to seek remission of the jail sentence of an Indian national serving time for violating the laws of another country, the Kollam MP said. “In the case of Lalit Modi- despite invoking the “humanitarian” mantra -your intervention was definitely aimed at aiding an Indian fugitive from Indian law,” he said.
In his letter, he alleged Swaraj had violated the oath of office as enunciated in the Constitution on the matter. Questioning Swaraj’s action, he said it was not justifiable for a Cabinet Minister to “mediate with a foreign national to facilitate “favours” as opposed to “humanitarian gesture”- for a fugitive from Indian laws.
Arguing that Swaraj’s acts of commission and omission in the Lalit Modi episode beg several questions, he asked, “While I am on record as having interceded on behalf of Madhavan Pillai Sivan Pillai as per due procedure and within the norms of constitutional propriety, was your intervention in the case of Lalit Modi as per laid down procedures articulated in the Constitution for Cabinet ministers?”
He also criticised Swaraj for calling Madhavan Pillai Sivan Pillai “a hardened criminal” in the Lok Sabha –“the highest shrine of democracy in the nation- when his mother and wife plead for compassion and mercy”.Premachandran said the nation expects definitive answers from the Minister on the Lalit Modi issue.