MEA refuses to share Zakir Naik’s extradition details

NEW DELHI: Citing RTI clauses, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has refused to divulge the details of request for the extradition of Zakir Naik, who is an Indian National living currently in Malaysia as a permanent resident.

In response to an RTI application filed by a PTI correspondent to provide a copy of the letter sent to Malaysia or a copy of the request made for the extradition of Zakir Naik and a reply or communication from the Malaysian government, the Ministry of External Affairs said RTI clauses prohibits disclosure of confidential information received from governments of other countries.

While referring to the provisions of Right to Information (RTI), the ministry said that there are 160 requests made by India for extradition are pending in various foreign countries. The information sought regarding the extradition request made by India and the reply received from Malaysia can not be given as it is notified “the information cannot be provided pursuant to Section 8 (1) (a) (f) and (h) of the Right to Information Act, 2005”.

The preacher came under the lens of security agencies after some terrorists, allegedly involved in the attack on a cafe in Dhaka in July 2016, reportedly claimed they were inspired by his speeches.

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on July 10 this year that he will not give in easily just because there were demands from India to extradite Naik. “We do not easily follow the demands of others. We must look at all factors before we respond,” the New Straits Times quoted Malaysian as saying.

Mohamad had also said that the cleric would not be handed over to Indian authorities as he had been granted permanent resident status in Malaysia. He had said that Naik would be allowed to stay in Malaysia as long as he did not create any problem.