The Enforcement Directorate Enforcement Directorate (ED) is tightening the screws on former Indian Premier League (IPL) commissioner Lalit Modi. At the ED’s request, the Mumbai Regional Passport office has issued a show-cause notice to Modi asking why his passport should not be impounded.
The ED is investigating Modi for foreign exchange irregularities in connection with alleged investments in IPL franchisees.
However, Modi was not cooperating, said an ED official on condition of anonymity. Modi, who is said to be in the UK, did not appear before the ED despite several summons being issued to him.
The show-cause notice, the official said, was aimed at forcing him to return to India. If Modi does not reply within 15 days, the process of cancelling his passport will begin. Once that happens, the UK would be forced to deport him. The ED had written to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) last week, requesting the cancellation of Modi’s passport.
The MEA, in turn, sent the letter to the Mumbai passport office last Friday.
“We had to initiate this extreme step since Modi is stonewalling,” the official said. Modi’s lawyer Mehmood Abdi said he had no information about the notice.
Earlier, the ED had issued a ‘blue corner notice’ against Modi, which means that he can be detained in any part of the world by local agencies, which would then inform the Indian authorities.
On Wednesday, the Board of Control for Cricket in India filed a criminal complaint in Tamil Nadu, charging Modi with financial misappropriation of R470 crore.
Modi is facing various allegations, such as financial irregularities, proxy holdings in IPL franchisees and receiving kickbacks while awarding broadcast deals.