US tops list with 25 pending requests, UAE 2nd with 24.
New Delhi: Response to letters rogatory (LRs) or judicial requests through Interpol by the CBI, the nodal agency in the country for the purpose, is a crucial cog in its wheel when it comes to probing high-profile cases with fugitives or information about them lying in other countries. And, official sources reveal, most of those wanted by law in India seem to be headed to the USA. The country, dealing with maximum number of requests from the agency, has responded positively.
Sources said the USA tops the list of countries in terms of numbers of LRs awaiting response, despite also being the country to have responded to maximum number of requests. Some of these LRs have been pending for several years, while the reply in many others is being awaited for the last few months. The LR is a formal request issued by a competent court to a foreign court and processed by the Ministry of External Affairs on behalf of the investigative agencies to obtain information about individuals and entities.
“The maximum number of CBI requests, around 25, is pending with the USA. But at the same time, it has executed agency’s 28 LRs, which too is maximum”, sources said. In fact, in certain cases, the response from the US has been very quick, they added. Delays in response on LRs prove to be a major stumbling block in agency’s investigations in many high profile cases. The second on the list is the UAE with highest number of pending LRs. It seems to have history of sitting on the LRs, sources said. As per latest figure, the UAE has 24 LRs pending. “Despite repeated reminders by New Delhi through diplomatic channels, the UAE authorities have not responded,” sources said.
As many as 165 LRs from India are pending with various member countries. Delays in the execution of pending LRs by the member countries, are proving to be a major stumbling block for the probe agencies, especially the CBI, in completing investigations in several high profile cases, sources said.
Authorities in Singapore have also not executed several LRs pending with them for the last several months, sources said adding that Mauritius has also not replied to several requests pending with them so far.