New Delhi: The government Monday told the Supreme Court that Fasih Mahmood, a Bihar engineer who went missing in Saudi Arabia last month, was not in police custody in India and the Saudi authorities were not co-operating in tracing him.
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Gourab Banerji told the apex court bench of Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan and Justice JS Khehar that "they (Saudi authorities) are not saying anything. They are really not telling us anything".
"Now it is a question of diplomacy. How much pressure we can bring on... (Saudi authorities)," Banerji told the court adding that he was personally pursuing the matter with the external affairs ministry.
Mahmood, 35, employed in Saudi Arabia, was allegedly picked up by intelligence agencies from Al Jubal May 13.
He told the court that the affidavits of the Delhi Police and that of the Karnataka Police were before the court and he was making a statement that Mahmood was not in police custody in India.
Banerji offered to put his statement on affidavit. He also told the court that as things stand today it would take time before Mahmood`s whereabouts were actually known.
Counsel Naushad Ahmed Khan appearing for Mahmood`s wife Nikhat Parveen told the court that there were specific allegations that Indian police picked up Mahmood.
"I am an Indian national. I need to know where is he (Fasih Mahmood)," Naushad Khan told the court.
He told the court that the Karnataka Police had mentioned certain details in the Interpol red corner notice which were not in public domain and were only available to Mahmood`s employer in Saudi Arabia. He wondered how could Karnataka Police have those details.
The court directed the listing of the matter in the second week of July.
Mahmood hails from Barh Saaila village in Darbhanga district of Bihar, about 200 km from Patna. His father, Firoz Ahmad, is in-charge of the Benipatti primary health centre in Madhubani district. His mother is a school teacher in Darbhanga.