Congress hits back at Ravi Shankar Prasad over allegations of shielding Nirav Modi

New Delhi [India], May 14 (ANI): The Congress party on Thursday hit back at Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad for accusing the opposition party of trying to shield fugitive businessman Nirav Modi.

Prasad has alleged that a member of Congress party, who is also a retired judge, is now defending Modi in the London court where the extradition trial is being conducted.

Addressing a digital press conference, Congress leader Manish Tewari said that the retired judge appeared in the case in his "personal capacity" and asked Prasad if he takes permission before fighting a case.

"He is a Law Minister. Does any advocate appear for a client before taking permission from his party? How many times did he take permission to fight cases? I will give the answer after that. Ravi Shankar is a senior lawyer. If you depose in a case, you appear in a personal capacity," Tewari said.

"Have you asked him if he believes in the Congress ideology and becoming an expert witness? ... This is an irresponsible act by the Union Minister to divert the attention a big calamity created by the BJP government," he said.

Earlier in the day, Prasad said: "The Congress party has always tried to save Nirav Modi or Mehul Choksi. Now that he (Nirav Modi) has been arrested and extradition proceedings against him are underway, a Congress member, who is a retired judge himself (Abhay Thipsay), is defending him in the court."

Showing a photo of Thipsay on the day he joined the Congress, in which senior party leaders Rahul Gandhi and Ashok Gehlot, among others were present, Prasad claimed that he was a high profile member of the party.

Earlier retired High Court Justice Abhay Mahadeo Thipsay was called on to testify on the legal basis upon which the Indian government has requested Modi's extradition to India to face charges at the Westminster Magistrate's Court in Central London.

Retired judge Thipsay, however, dismissed the charge. He also questioned the confessions and witness statements compiled against Modi, including the manner in which they were obtained and their very admissibility. (ANI)