Why are you not arresting Lalit Modi, court asks ED

File photo of former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi.

File photo of former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi.  

A special court here on Tuesday asked the Enforcement Directorate why it was not arresting the former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi in a money-laundering case. “You have the right to arrest. Why are you not arresting him,” asked special judge P.R. Bhavake, who heads the court handling cases under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

On Wednesday, the court will decide on the ED’s application for a non-bailable warrant against Lalit Modi after he failed to respond to its July 3 summons. ED lawyer Hiten Venegaonkar said a warrant was necessary to summon Lalit Modi for interrogation to take the investigation forward. The court cast doubts on its authority to issue a warrant in the absence of a complaint or charge sheet.

Potential accused: ED

“Is he an accused before the court,” the judge asked. The ED said Lalit Modi was “a potential accused” and urged the court to take into account his “conduct” since 2010, disregarding summons. “We have served summons on him through various means. We sent it to his last known address, Nirlon House at Worli, and to his e-mail address, from where it has not bounced back. So the accused has the knowledge of the summons. Since 2010, he has not complied with any summons. Sending a new notice would be a futile exercise,” Mr. Venegaonkar told the court.

The case, filed by the former BCCI president, N. Srinivasan, in 2010, accuses Lalit Modi of misappropriating funds when he was IPL commissioner. Last month, the ED recorded Mr. Srinivasan’s statement in Mumbai. The ED said it wanted to arrest Lalit Modi — who fled to London five years ago to escape prosecution — to question him in light of some new evidence.

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Printable version | May 22, 2020 11:28:37 PM |

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