Tejashwi Yadav, former Bihar deputy CM and son of Lalu Yadav, has asked why the BJP-led government cannot bring back economic offenders and yet warn Facebook founder that he may be summoned in case of any data breach by the social media giant.
New Delhi: Taking on Union IT and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad for warning Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg that he can be summoned if his company is found guilty of data breach, RJD's Tejashwi Yadav questioned why the government cannot - similarly - summon those like Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya who have allegedly fled India.
Prasad on Wednesday had said India would use its stringent IT Act to take action against Facebook if it was found guilty of stealing data of Indians. "We have got stringent power in the IT Act, we shall use it, including summoning you (Mark Zuckerberg) in India," he had said. A day later, Tejashwi used the statement to question why the government cannot use the same tone and tenacity to bring back economic offenders who have fled the country. "As BJP's popularity is going down on Facebook, they are challenging Facebook's owner that he can be summoned," he said. "Government should tell us that if they have powers, why can't they summon Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi and Vijay Mallya?"
While Lalit Modi is accused of violating provisions in Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) and is in exile in London, Mallya is accused of owing banks Rs 7,000 crore which was lent to his now defunct Kingfisher Airlines. While Mallya too is in the UK, the whereabouts of Nirav Modi - the most recent to have fled the country after allegedly duping Punjab National Bank of Rs 11,000 crore - remain unknown.
Questions are increasingly being asked of the government regarding what it has and what it plans to do to bring back these high-profile economic offenders. Tejashwi's question, in particular, comes at a time when India is trying to ensure Facebook did not commit any data breach in the country.
Facebook is facing heat globally after Cambridge Analytica was accused of harvesting data of up to 50 million users without permission and using the data to help politicians, including US President Donald Trump and the Brexit campaign.