The Enforcement Directorate on Monday summoned former Indian Premier League chief Lalit Modi in a money laundering case registered against him.
“The summons against Lalit Modi was given to his Mumbai-based legal counsel Mehmood Abdi for compliance," an ED source told HT.
Modi has been asked to appear before the ED within three weeks for questioning in connection with the money laundering case registered against him.
If Modi does not honour the summons, the agency may later consider approaching the court for initiation of actions against him as per law, including the option of issuance of an ‘arrest warrant’.
The case relates to a 2008 deal between World Sports Group (WSG) and Multi Screen Media (MSM) for television rights of Indian Premier League (IPL) worth Rs 425 crore
As part of its probe, the ED -- as reported by a HT story published last week --is examining whether Modi could be the alleged eventual beneficiary of a payment worth Rs 125 crore made by Singapore based the Multi Screen Media, which backs Sony Entertainment Television (SET) and SET Max, to a Mauritius-based obscure firm.
“The probe has indicated that in reality, the Mauritius-based firm had no right over the media contract. ED’s core focus of the PMLA probe is to examine whether Lalit Modi was a beneficiary of the Rs 125 crore paid by the Singapore-based firm to the Mauritius-based firm,” said the source.
The ED is expected to inquire more on the issue when its team lands in Singapore and Mauritius to take the investigation forward. The agency is set to send Letter Rogatories soon to authorities in these countries.
"Reports that I have received any summons from the ED are baseless and misleading," said Modi's lawyer Mehmood Abdi. Modi’s lawyers are part of the adjudication proceedings in the case that is also being probed for alleged Foreign Exchange Management Act violations.
The cricket czar in his reply said Section 42 of the Act, which governs forex violations by companies, does not apply to the Board of Control for Cricket in India as it is a society of associations and not a company. On his website, Modi said he had filed a reply denying the allegations made in the ED’s showcause notice.
Reacting to the latest development, Modi tweeted on Monday night: “I have received no summons. They know where I live in London. Awaiting the same.”
The case was based on a complaint filed by former BCCI chief N. Srinivasan with the Chennai police in 2010 against Modi and others charging them with alleged embezzlement of funds in awarding the telecast rights.
In 2012, two years after the complaint the ED filed a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.The cricket czar, who now resides in London, is also involved in multiple other cases of money laundering and forex violations in India.
The case shot back into prominence after media reports recently said he received help from external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj in getting travel papers to Portugal
The former IPL chief also embarassed the ruling BJP further by revealing that former Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje signed a secret affidavit backing his plea for immigration in UK.