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Mumbai court issues non-bailable warrant against Lalit Modi

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 5 August 2015, 13:45 IST

A special court for Prevention of Money Laundering Act issued a non-bailable arrest warrant (NBW) against former IPL boss Lalit Modi in connection with a case of money laundering following a plea by the Enforcement Directorate.

"Your (ED's) application is allowed," said Special Judge P R Bhavake while issuing the NBW.

ED had moved the special court last week seeking NBW against Modi after he did not respond to summons sent to him.

According to ED sources, this warrant will be sent to the Ministry of External Affairs which in turn will be sending it to the United Kingdom. Lalit Modi left the country shortly after the ED began its probe against him in 2009.

However, getting the NBW order did not come easy for the probe agency as the judge first questioned ED's delay in seeking the NBW and later raised the jurisdictional issue too.

The court also wanted to know why the agency was not arresting him and had sought the NBW, and whether a warrant can be issued during the investigation.The Enforcement Directorate had moved the court last week seeking an NBW after Modi did not respond to the summons sent to him.

ED's lawyer Hiten Venegoankar said: "We have the warrant now, we will get him".

The order would lead to Modi's arrest if he returns from London. And if Modi chooses to remain a fugitive, the order also paves the way for the issuance of a Red Corner Notice against him.

Last month, the court had issued letters rogatory (LR) to Singapore and Mauritius, seeking assistance from authorities there in the case.

BCCI registered an FIR in Chennai against Modi in 2010. In 2008, the cricket body had awarded 10-year media rights to WSG for USD 918 million. WSG then entered into a deal with MSM to make Sony the official broadcaster. The contract was replaced later with a nine-year deal where MSM paid WSG USD 1.63 billion.

In 2009, ED started a probe under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) to investigate the allegation that payment of Rs 425 crore facilitation fee by MSM Singapore to WSG Mauritius had been made in an unauthorised manner.

(With inputs from PTI)

First published: 5 August 2015, 12:44 IST