Sule case: Does law allow to seek info from Singapore, asks HC

Observing that it needed to be sure of the legal position before seeking information from foreign authority, the Bombay High Court today sought to know under which law a request could be sent to the consulate general of Singapore seeking documents regarding citizenship of MP and daughter of NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Supriya Sule.

Justice J H Bhatia directed Mrunalini Kakade, who has filed an election petition challenging Sule's election in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, to point out the law under which the court can issue summons or letter of request seeking documents from a foreign authority.

The court was hearing an application filed by Kakade seeking summons to be issued to the councillor officer in the consulate general office of Singapore directing him to produce documents regarding citizenship of Sule in Singapore.

Kakade had challenged Sule's election on the ground that the MP owes "adherence and allegiance" to Singapore where she purchased property and had investments along with her husband.

According to Kakade, under Singapore law, once a person purchases property there then he or she becomes a permanent resident of that country. Kakade had last week filed an application alleging that Sule and Pawar were using their influence to prevent officials from giving information to her.

The court today, however, sought to know the legal position under which it could send a letter of request to a foreign authority seeking production of documents.

"When the court sends such letters to a foreign authority it needs to be sure of the legal position. We do not want to err in law. You (Kakade) have to point out the legal position of that country also," Justice Bhatia said.

The court has also directed Kakade's lawyer Vaibhav Parushurami to submit a list of documents that they feel is relevant to their case pertaining to citizenship of Sule. The matter will be heard further on January 31.

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