Melbourne: Facing severe criticism back home for not raising the Indian fugitive`s case during his ongoing trip to India, Victorian premier John Brumby Tuesday defended
his decision and said it could have made the extradition of the accused more difficult.
Brumby said "I have not raised the matter in India and do not intend to, as the strong advice from agencies is that doing so could make an extradition even more difficult".
He said, "I want to assure the Hofstee family that state and Commonwealth authorities are taking action to secure an extradition".
Brumby faced severe criticism after he was quoted by a TV channel here as saying that raising the case was "not a priority".
Puneet, a hospitality student from India, skipped bail in August and fled to his homeland on a friend`s passport after pleading guilty to culpable driving.
Last October, Puneet killed Dean Hofstee, 19, and seriously injured Clancy Coker, 20, both university students from the Gold Coast.
Dean`s mother Fran Hofstee told ABC that Brumby`s comment had upset her family.
Victorian opposition leader Ted Baillieu said the premier had embarrassed himself by not discussing the case with Indian officials, and he must do so immediately.