Updated: June 15, 2015 7:43:45 am
In July last year when External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said the British government could give travel documents to Lalit Modi as per their rules and regulations, the Enforcement Directorate was in the final stage of its investigation against the former IPL chief.
Modi, who faces several charges of financial irregularity and whose passport had earlier been impounded for a Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) violation, had a blue corner notice against him in the ED case. As per the Interpol factsheet, blue notice means “To locate, identify, or obtain information on a person of interest in a criminal investigation.” According to ED officials, Modi can be detained as soon as he enters India.
The ED had started investigations into the alleged Rs 425-crore foreign exchange violations after Modi’s ouster from the BCCI. He is accused of signing a “sham” contract with World Sports Group (WSG) in 2009, when he was in-charge of IPL.
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The ED is still pursuing a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act in the same matter. In 2013, a BCCI disciplinary committee, including senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley, Congress MP Jyotiraditya Scindia and cricket administrator Chirayu Amin, had also found Modi guilty of “rigging” bids in the IPL season 2010 by adding unreasonable clauses in the tender draft for buying two new teams, allegedly to favour the Adani and Videocon groups.
The two clauses were that the bidder should have a net worth of at least US $1 billion and that the bidder has to give a bank guarantee of Rs 460 crore. The panel also held Modi guilty of arm-twisting the Kochi franchise in 2010, and of “violations” in granting television rights. By not insisting on payment of Rs 112.5 crore by WSG Mauritius on the signing of the tele rights agreement, the panel said, Modi had committed an act that was detrimental to the interests of the BCCI.
They also charged him with indiscipline over the awarding of Internet rights for IPL. It was contended that although Modi disclosed the assignment of Internet rights in favour of GCVM, he did not disclose the involvement of his close relative in the BCCI property, which was an act of indiscipline. Modi’s step son-in-law Gaurav Burman was the Managing Partner of Elephant Capital, which held 50 per cent shares in GCVM.
Incidentally, days before Swaraj said Britain could clear Modi’s request for travel documents, the former IPL chief had posted several tweets in support of senior BJP members. He had congratulated Amit Shah on being appointed BJP president and, tagging Sushma, shared a link about Narendra Modi’s J&K visit. He had also written that his “western friends” were excited at the budget presented by Jaitley.
This was in contrast to his several earlier posts where he had levied allegations against Jaitley, including that he had sold party tickets before elections in Rajasthan.
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