High Commissioner not at fault, says Sushma Swaraj on Mallya row
New Delhi, June 19 (IANS) External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday asserted that India’s High Commissioner to Britain, Navtej Sarna, was not at fault for the presence of business tycoon Vijay Mallya at a book release function in London.
“Unka koi dosh nahi hai (there was no fault of the High Commissioner),” she told reporters sticking to the ministry’s line that Mallya was not originally in the invitee list of the London School of Economics and Political Science.
“The moment the High Commissioner saw Mallya, he staged a walkout. So, I don’t understand what is the controversy about?” Sushma Swaraj said.
The External Affairs Ministry, in a statement on Saturday, had said: “The list of invitations for the London School of Economics and Political Science was determined by LSE. They have written to the High Commissioner that Mallya was not on their list.”
However, Mallya, in a series of tweets claimed he is “not a gatecrasher”.
Mallya’s presence at the function sparked off controversy because the liquor barron has been declared a “proclaimed offender” by a Mumbai court on the urging of the prosecution and the Enforcement Directorate.
His deportation has been sought from Britain, where he is currently based since the past around four months. A non-bailable arrest warrant was issued in connection with the investigations into cases lodged against him.