External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Thursday, Dec. 24, 2015, that India has secured release of five sailors who were abducted by pirates in Nigeria.IANS

Amid reports of helping former Indian Premier League (IPL) chief Lalit Modi secure UK visa, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday said that she had only "conveyed" his request to the British ambassador "taking a humanitarian view".

Modi has been facing an Enforcement Directorate (ED) probe into allegations of financial irregularities.

The UK-based Sunday Times reported an email conversation between influential Labour MP Keith Vaz and head of UK Visas and Immigration Sarah Rapson, citing Swaraj, to facilitate travel documents for the controversial ex-boss of IPL.

"Leaked correspondence reveals how Vaz cited Sushma Swaraj, India's foreign minister, to the Home Office in an effort to expedite the case of Lalit Modi, a mutual acquaintance," the daily reported.

Swaraj took to Twitter with a series of posts in her reply to the latest controversy.

"Sometime in July 2014 Lalit Modi spoke to me that his wife was suffering from Cancer and her surgery was fixed for 4th Aug in Portugal. He told me that he had to be present in the Hospital to sign the consent papers. He informed me that he had applied for travel documents in London and UK Government was prepared to give him the travel documents," the minister tweeted.

"However, they were restrained by a UPA Government communication that this will spoil Indo-UK relations. Taking a humanitarian view, I conveyed to the British High Commissioner that British Government should examine the request of Lalit Modi as per British rules and regulations. If the British Government chooses to give travel documents to Lalit Modi, that will not spoil our bilateral relations.

"Keith Vaz also spoke to me and I told him precisely what I told the British High Commissioner. I genuinely believe that in a situation such as this, giving emergency travel documents to an Indian citizen cannot and should not spoil relations between the two countries.

"I may also state that only a few days later, Delhi High Court quashed UPA Government's order impounding Lalit Modi's Passport on the ground that the said order was unconstitutional being violative of fundamental rights and he got his Passport back," Swaraj said on Twitter.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had revoked Modi's passport in 2010 after he fled to London, following an investigation by the ED, which had also issued a blue corner notice on him through Interpol.

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