Nepal on Saturday said it will deport the alleged kingpin of the kidney transplant racket, Amit Kumar, "as soon as possible" and India's request in this regard may come up before the Cabinet on Sunday.
A Nepalese minister indicated that it may take weeks or months for the tainted doctor to be sent to India. "We know the sensitivity of India and the deportation will be made after completing necessary legal procedures," Minister for Peace and Reconstruction Ram Chandra Poudyal told a press conference in Kathmandu.
When asked about the time frame for deportation, he said "I cannot tell the exact time, it may take weeks or months, but certainly not years."
As Nepal police plans to lodge a case against Kumar on Sunday in a court, a senior police official said his deportation to India will not be a problem.
Even if the case for alleged violation of foreign currency laws is filed by police against Kumar, his deportation is possible, said Nepal police spokesman Sushil Barsingh Thapa.
According to Nepalese law it is a punishable crime to carry foreign currency without prior declaration. Kumar was allegedly carrying Euro 1.45 lakh and USD 18,900 in cash and an Indian bank draft of Rs 9.36 lakh when he was arrested from a jungle resort in southern Nepal on Thursday.
"Such a case is new for us. His crime is limited to possessing illegal foreign currency and he has not done any other crime in Nepal, I think his deportation will take place soon after fulfilling legal formalities here," Thapa said.
To a question, the minister said that Nepal government has not yet received any formal letter from India requesting Kumar's deportation.
However, the Indian embassy in Kathmandu said that it has made a formal request to government of Nepal for his deportation.
"We will also investigate whether he has links with any illegal kidney transplants in Nepal," Poudyal said. "We are having consultations with the legal experts to settle the matter through proper procedures," he said, adding the Home Minister may bring up the issue in the Cabinet meeting on Sunday for consideration.
There is a provision in Nepal to levy a fine equivalent to three times the foreign currency a person carries illegally. Kumar was allegedly carrying foreign currency equivalent to Nepali Rs one crore and he may have to pay Rs three crore as fine, a senior police official, who is investigating the matter, said.
Indian government has already made a request to Nepal for his deportation, said Indian embassy official Gopal Wagle. "As we have made request for his deportation, I think he will be deported."
He had been apprehended by Nepal police, so the police here have to fulfil some legal formalities before his deportation, Wagle added.
Kumar is wanted in a number of Indian states for his multi-crore kidney racket.