Interpol has sought reasons from the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on why a Red Corner Notice (RCN) should be issued against former IPL chief Lalit Modi who is facing a probe related to alleged money laundering in India. The RCN is an international lookout notice for a fugitive.
The ED received queries from the Interpol on August 20.
Among the queries raised by the Interpol Secretariat to ED are the evidences available against Lalit Modi, details of the other accused in the case and the predicate offence based on which the agency registered a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) besides reasons for delay in the investigation.
Meanwhile, copies of emails exchanged on August 11 between Lalit Modi’s London-based legal firm Lindeborg and Interpol’s Secretariat to the Commission for the Control of Interpol’s Files show that Modi was assured of a hearing in case of a request from India.
“You will be granted the opportunity to make submissions,” an email from Interpol stated. Lindeborg, a firm that specialises in Interpol-related cases, in its communication to Interpol, has claimed that the case against Modi is “politically motivated”.
According to sources familiar with the development, the ED has submitted all the documents to Interpol. A senior officer, who has dealt with Interpol, said, “Interpol has no locus standi in asking any sovereign nation for details of investigation once the nodal agency, in our case the CBI, submits requests for issue of a Red Corner Notice. Interpol is a mere facilitating agency. It is also unheard of that Interpol gives an opportunity for submission to someone who is a subject of RCN.”
On August 12, Lalit Modi tweeted a copy of a mail written to him by Petra De Krijger, Director of Lindeborg, which said that the Interpol in an “unprecedented decision” had agreed to hear out Modi before proceeding against him.
“Further to my earlier message, I reiterate that Interpol concedes that it will not act on any request from India on LKM without allowing us to be heard first. This unprecedented decision of Interpol means that if the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) of India is indeed asked by the enforcement directorate to issue a red notice against Mr Lalit Modi and this request will be sent to Interpol headquarters in Lyon, Interpol Lyon would contact us first to react to this request,” Krijger stated in her email.
A decision by the Interpol on the request made by the agency is likely to be taken by the end of September, according to officials in India.
Emails sent to Interpol’s Secretariat last week did not elicit any response.
So far, the ED has registered 16 cases against Lalit Modi. Of these, 15 cases are under provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) and one under PMLA.