ED moves court seeking Lalit Modi's transfer

MUMBAI: In fresh trouble for Lalit Modi, the Enforcement Directorate today moved a special court here seeking issuance of fresh Letters Rogatory (LR) to the British government for execution of the warrant pending against the former IPL commissioner and his return to India for probe.

The move came at time when British Prime Minister Theresa May is on a three-day visit to India and a day after India asked Britain to extradite nearly 60 people wanted by it for bringing them back to face justice here.

Letters Rogatory are issued when court or investigators want help from judicial authorities in another country.

“In the application before the court, we have stated that the court issue LR to UK for execution of non-bailable warrant issued against (Lalit) Modi and his consequent transfer to India for joining the investigation,” an ED official said.

The ED application seeks that competent authorities in the UK take steps necessary for locating and identifying Modi.

Special ED counsel Hiten Venegoankar is likely to begin his arguments before the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court on Thursday.

The agency is probing the case against Modi in connection with a 2008 deal between World Sports Group (WSG) and Multi Screen Media (MSM) for television rights worth Rs 425 crore for the Indian Premier League season.

The Board Of Control for Cricket In India (BCCI) had registered a case in Chennai in connection with the 2008 deal. This was followed by a case registered by the ED.

So far, three LRs have been issued against Modi by the same court to authorities in Singapore, Mauritius and UAE.

The court had issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against the high-profile former IPL boss, believed to be in the UK, on August 6 last year.

In 2008, after BCCI awarded IPL media rights for 10 years to WSG for $918 million, WSG entered into a deal with Multi Screen Media to make latter’s television channel Sony the official broadcaster of IPL.

While BCCI alleged irregularities and breach of contract in this deal, ED started a probe in 2009 under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) to investigate allegations that payment of Rs 425 crore towards facilitation fee by MSM Singapore to WSG Mauritius was made in illegal manner.