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MEA got request to impound Prajwal Revanna's passport only on May 21: Jaishankar

New Delhi: In a significant revelation External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has disclosed that the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) received a request only on May 21 to impound the passport of Janata Dal Secular MP Prajwal Revanna, who fled to Germany last month amid allegations of sexual assault.

Revanna is facing a probe by a Special Investigative Team (SIT) constituted by the Karnataka government over allegations of sexual harassment and criminal intimidation following a complaint by a woman who worked in his household.

In an exclusive interview with ANI, Jaishankar clarified the procedural aspects, saying, "To impound a passport is governed by an act called the Passport Act. We need a judicial court or a police request to do so. The MEA got this request from Karnataka only on May 21."

Highlighting the adherence to legal procedures, Jaishankar emphasised that the external affairs minister acted promptly upon receiving the request. "We immediately acted on it. On 23rd of May... we have to follow a certain procedure and the procedure is initiated," he added.

Asked about the Congress government's accusations against the BJP of shielding Revanna, Jaishankar said, "They did not take the first step... I mean, he's not the first case where impounding a passport is taking place."

The revelation comes amidst a political storm surrounding Prajwal Revanna ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. The Karnataka government constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) on April 27 to probe into allegations against Revanna after explicit videos allegedly involving him surfaced on social media.

Despite the allegations, Prajwal Revanna has vehemently denied the accusations, asserting that the circulated videos are doctored. The formation of the SIT came following recommendations by the state women's commission, indicating the seriousness with which the matter is being addressed by authorities.

On Thursday, JDS supremo and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda issued a stern warning to his grandson Revanna to return to India and face the law in the obscene video case.

In a letter posted on X, the former PM says he is not aware of where his grandson is but has warned him to return home and face the law.

"I have already said that he should be given the harshest punishment under the law if found guilty. I also cannot convince people that I was unaware of Prajwal's activities. I cannot convince them that I have no desire to shield him. I cannot convince them that I am not aware of his movements and that I was not aware of his foreign trip. I believe in answering my conscience. I believe in God, and I know the almighty knows the truth," the former PM wrote.

Deve Gowda also appealed to his grandson to return if he had any respect left for him.

Earlier, Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting him to cancel the Diplomatic Passport of JD(S) MP Prajwal Revanna who is facing an SIT probe over the allegation of sexual harassment "along with prompt and concerted actions to secure his return to India."

Siddaramaiah in his letter to the Prime Minister said that it is shameful that Prajwal Revanna fled the country on April 27, 2024, to Germany using his diplomatic passport shortly after news of his heinous actions emerged and just a few hours before the first FIR was filed against him. 

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