New Delhi, May 19: After the goof up in India's ‘50 most wanted' list given to Pakistan, Government faced another embarrassment when a CBI team landed in Copenhagen to seek extradition of the main accused in the 1995 Purulia arms drop case Kim Davy with an expired warrant. A two-member CBI team, which reached Copenhagen on May 16, was left red-faced after Davy's counsel pointed out during the court proceedings there that the arrest warrant issued by a special CBI court in Kolkata against his client had expired in January this year.
The team which was in the Danish capital to assist local authorities immediately sought a fresh warrant against Davy from the special CBI court.
The Kolkata Special Crime Branch officials of the agency scrambled to get the fresh warrant which was issued by the special CBI court and a scanned copy was sent to the team in copenhagen. The agency then sent an original copy of the warrant as well so that team there is fully equipped when hearing resumes today.
“All documents are in order with the CBI team,” CBI spokesperson Dharini Mishra said today. A CBI official was earlier quoted as saying that an oversight had led the CBI team go to Denmark with an invalid warrant.
The BJP wasted little time in seizing on the second embarassment in the space of two days to come down heavily on the government. Senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj called it a “big embarrassment” and “another blunder”.
“Here is another blunder. CBI reached Copenhagen with an expired warrant for Kim Davy. Big embarrassment for the country. Is anybody accountable in this government,” Swaraj said in a twitter posting.
Referring to government's response on appointment of the Central Vigilance Commissioner as well as on goof up in the ‘most wanted' list, Swaraj said ‘oversight' has become the “all time excuse” for the UPA dispensation. “They say expired warrant is an ‘oversight'. Oversight in CVC papers. Oversight in India's Most Wanted List. It is an all time excuse,” she said.
CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury said the government must quickly remedy the situation in the interest of the country. Home Minister P Chidambaram yesterday accepted as a “mistake” the inclusion of terror accused Wazhul Kamar Khan in the list of most wanted fugitives given to Pakistan, calling it a “genuine error” by Mumbai Police and “oversight” by the Intelligence Bureau.
A two-member team of CBI is in Copenhagen to assist authorities there with the facts and evidence collected against Davy.
Though India is not a party to the case in the Danish court, the role of the team is limited to helping the prosecutors there with necessary material evidence. A five-member constitutional bench of the Denmark High Court is hearing the plea of the Denmark government which challenged a lower court order against the extradition of Davy to India.
The decision to despatch the CBI team was taken days after Davy and one of the convicted persons in the case, Peter Bleach, had alleged that the Purulia arms drop operation was planned by the Indian government and its intelligence agencies to destabilise the Left Front government in West Bengal.
The government had, however, quickly denied the allegation saying it was aimed at misleading the prosecuting agency and the court in Denmark which are seized with the matter of his extradition to India.
The CBI had registered the case on December 28, 1995 after sophisticated arms including AK-47 assault rifles, anti-tank grenades and other weapons were dropped from a foreign plane in the fields of Purulia in West Bengal on the night of December 17, 1995.
An Interpol Red Corner Notice was issued against Kim Davy in 1996 on the request of the agency. Since he was traced to Denmark in 2001, efforts continued to extradite him to India even though there was no extradition treaty between the two countries. PTI