The Home Ministry is caught in a catch-22 situation over providing the statement of Headley to CBI owing to the undertaking given to the Federal Bureau of Investigation that the same would not be shared with any other probe agency other than the NIA.

CBI had written to NIA seeking sharing of the statement to check the veracity of the reports claiming that 2004 Gujarat encounter victim Ishrat had links with Pakistan- based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba.

NIA has informed the Home Ministry about the demand of CBI and conveyed that it cannot share Headley's statement with CBI as FBI had agreed and arranged the meeting with Headley in 2010 under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty with a condition that NIA will not share his statement with anyone.

NIA has made it clear that it could share the information provided the government gave a go-ahead for it, official sources said.

According to the sources, sharing of Headley's statement would amount to flouting the commitment given to the US authorities and this step is fraught with a danger as America may not cooperate with India in future.

NIA has cited the confidentiality clause with the US government in the Headley case, according to which evidence collected in the 26/11 probe cannot be used in any other case. Faced with the situation, the Home Ministry has decided to seek the opinion of the Law Ministry before taking any final decision as CBI has been pressing for handing over Headley's confessional statement to ascertain facts whether Ishrat, who was killed in an alleged fake encounter in Gujarat nine years ago, had links with LeT.

(Agencies)

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