MEA denies connection between transfer of Joint Secretaries and Lalit Modi issue #Lalitgate

New Delhi(PTI): The Ministry of External Affairs on Friday termed as “baseless and misleading” reports that three Joint Secretaries were transferred to skip procedures in extending help by its minister Sushma Swaraj to former IPL chief Lalit Modi in obtaining travel documents from the UK.

Spokesperson in the MEA Vikas Swarup’s remarks came in reaction to reports that Swaraj might have hastily transferred three joint secretaries to skip procedures in helping scam- tainted Modi get the travel papers in the UK which has created a political storm in the country with Opposition demanding her sacking. “The reports of the transfer of the Joint Secretaries in the Ministry are baseless and misleading. Additional Secretary heading the Europe West Division was posted as High Commissioner to South Africa in June 2014 and assumed office in October, 2014.

“The Joint Secretary (Legal & Treaties) division was promoted as Additional Secretary and continued to head the Division till her retirement in March 2015. The Joint Secretary (CPV) was promoted as Additional Secretary and took charge of the nodal post of Additional Secretary (Administration) in October 2014,” Swarup said.

The External Affairs Minister had defended her help to the scam-tainted former IPL Commissioner, who spoke to her “sometime in July 2014”, saying it was based on “humanitarian” ground. Admitting that she had no objection to Modi’s request to be allowed to travel out of UK and spoke to this effect with British MP Keith Vaz and the British High Commissioner, Swaraj had tweeted that she intervened as Modi’s wife needed treatment in Portugal.