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Brumby criticised back home for not discussing Indian fugitive

world Updated: Sep 29, 2009 09:42 IST
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Victorian premier John Brumby, who is currently on a visit to India, has been criticised by the opposition party in Australia for failing to raise the case of an Indian fugitive during his trip.

While Premier is in India to reassure Indian government, prospective students and their parents that Melbourne is a safe place to study despite the recent attacks on foreign students, he has been criticised for not raising Puneet case.

The 19-year old Puneet allegedly fled from Australia in June using another student's passport after pleading guilty in a Melbourne court to culpable driving that killed one person and seriously injured another last year.

ABC radio report said "Brumby didn't want to risk offending his hosts by raising the Puneet case with the Indian government."

The report said Brumby told a TV channel in Melbourne that "It wasn't on my agenda. It wasn't a priority in that sense. On the agenda there were other issues that the Indian ministers were very keen to discuss."

State's shadow attorney-general Robert Clark said that Brumby should have raised the case with Indian officials.

"Part of his mission was supposed to be to try to restore the credibility of the Victorian and Australian justice system,." he said adding "I think that credibility was very badly damaged when someone who'd already pleaded to culpable driving was able to get out of the country simply by using a fellow student's passport and flying out."