Finance minister Arun Jaitley came out in support of embattled external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, saying at a press conference today that she had nothing wrong and had acted in good faith. The party and the government backs her completely, the minister said.
Jaitley also clarified that there was a look out notice by the enforcement directorate against Lalit Modi that is still valid.
"There is a procedure of a blue corner notice which is issued by the Interpol. There is a procedure of a light blue corner notice which is issued by the directorate of revenue intelligence at the request of ED. That notice was issued in 2010 and that notice continues to be valid even today," Jaitley told PTI.
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Jaitley added that the decision on Modi's travel papers were taken by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj herself, as "all ministers in the Union Cabinet take their own decisions and each member is competent enough to take a decision," he said.
"All allegations levelled are baseless. Her (Swaraj) statement and that of the party President that whatever she did was with good intentions. She acted bona fide. The entire government and the party are one on the issue. There should be no doubt on this," Jaitley said firmly.
"I understand that out of 16 investigations, in 15 of them show cause notices have been issued. This is the information I have. One is still under investigation," he said.
Swaraj has been at the centre of a major row over helping Modi to obtain British travel documents. But Swaraj has maintained that she helped Modi on "humanitarian grounds" — to attend to his wife who was undergoing surgery for cancer in Lisbon on August 4, 2014.
(With inputs from agencies)