Former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi used the names of Prince of Wales Charles and Duke of York Prince Andrew in support of his claim for a travel permit from the British Home Office, the Sunday Times says.
This is the latest in a series of investigative reports by the newspaper, which says it has in its possession copies of leaked e-mails from Labour MP Keith Vaz to Mr. Modi and the Home Office.
The Buckingham Palace has denied that either Prince Charles or Prince Andrew had in any way intervened on Mr. Modi’s behalf.
Lalit met Charles, Andrew, says Keith Vaz in e-mail
“Mr. Modi informs me that he met the Prince of Wales … and he also met Prince Andrew two days ago. Both offered to help resolve this matter as he was complaining about missing the wedding of his sister and the inability to meet, amongst others, the president of the Seychelles,” Mr. Vaz wrote in the e-mail last year.
Prince Andrew was a guest at Mr. Modi’s seven-storey house in Cadogan Square, Chelsea, which is one of the most exclusive neighbourhoods of London.
The next day, Mr. Modi’s certificate for travel was rejected, prompting Mr. Vaz to write again to Sarah Rapson, director-general of U.K. visas and immigration, on July 31, this time citing the support of Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj for Mr. Modi’s appeal. Mr. Modi received his papers the next day.
Mr. Vaz has said that whatever he did for Mr. Modi was done in the normal course of his work as Chair, Select Affairs Committee for Home. He says there were several individuals who were not residents of his constituency, Leicester East, who he helped as part of his efforts to streamline the visa and passport system and reduce the big backlog of cases.
A palace spokesperson told the paper that though Prince Andrew had known Mr. Modi “over a number of years”, it was “categorically untrue that he has sought to influence decision on these matters”, in reference to the controversial Indian millionaire’s battle with the British immigration authorities.