NEW DELHI: Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Friday alleged that the Central Bureau of Investigation aided former liquor baron Vijay Mallya's escape. He also alleged that the lookout notice for Mallya was changed on the approval of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"Mallya’s Great Escape was aided by the CBI quietly changing the “Detain” notice for him, to “Inform”. The CBI reports directly to the PM. It is inconceivable that the CBI, in such a high profile, controversial case, would change a lookout notice without the approval of the PM," he tweeted.
Mallya’s Great Escape was aided by the CBI quietly changing the “Detain” notice for him, to “Inform”. The CBI reports directly to the PM. It is inconceivable that the CBI, in such a high profile, controversial case, would change a lookout notice without the approval of the PM.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) September 14, 2018
The CBI on said Thursday said that its decision to change the 2015 Lookout Circular (LoC) against Mallya from "detain" to merely informing about his movements was an "error" in judgement. CBI sources said when the first LoC was issued on October 12, 2015, Mallya was already abroad.
Upon his return the agency was asked by the Bureau of Immigration (BoI) if Mallya should be detained as sought in the LoC to which the CBI said there was no need to arrest or detain him as he was a sitting MP and there was no warrant against him, they said. It said the agency only wanted information on his movements.
Besides, the probe was in an initial stage and the CBI was collecting documents from the IDBI in the Rs 900 crore loan default case, they said.
The CBI issued a fresh LoC against Mallya in the last week of November 2015 asking airport authorities across the country to "inform" it about Mallya's movements, thus replacing its previous circular which had sought detention of the businessman if he attempted to leave the country.
The Congress has been accusing the Narendra Modi-led NDA government of taking no action against Mallya who is accused of Rs 9,000-crore bank fraud, despite registration of an FIR by the CBI in July 2015.
Rahul has also accused Arun Jaitley of "colluding" with Mallya and questioned why the Finance Minister did not inform the investigating agencies about Mallya's plans to leave India. Mallya had recently said that he met the Finance Minister before leaving India.
While Congress has sought Jaitley's resignation, the BJP rejected the demand and instead asked Rahul Gandhi to quit in view of his involvement in National Herald case.