Lalit Modi ducks Enforcement Directorate again

Former IPL chiefs lawyer says his client is not absconding
Last Updated 28 October 2010, 17:48 IST

Meanwhile, the former IPL chief continued to evade the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which has summoned him for questioning.

The RPO issued a showcause notice to Modi on October 15, asking him to explain why his passport should not be revoked and gave 15 days time to responde to the notice.
Modi’s lawyer Mehmood Abdi told mediapersons that his client has sought clarification as to when the deadline for response expires. “We have also asked the RPO what documents they have relied on while issuing the notice on October 15,” Abdi said.

He said before responding to the notice, Modi must know what was the “reference of Enforcement Directorate” to the RPO, following which a notice was issued.

The notice requires Modi to file a reply within 15 days, but Abdi said the period of 15 days should start from the date of receipt of the notice, which was October 20. “So, according to us, the deadline expires on November 4. We have sent a letter to RPO seeking clarification on October 26, but there has been no reply,” he said.

The ED had written to the External Affairs Ministry on October 5 asking it to revoke Modi’s passport since he had persistently refused to face the ED regarding allegations of financial irregularities. The deadline to respond to the ED notice ended Thursday.

Abdi also referred to Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, who had threatened to cancel the former IPL commissioner's passport if he does not respond to corruption charges. She mentioned about two letters, which, Abdi said, must be given access to his client before he replied to the notice of the RPO.

In the letter written to the RPO which Abdi handed over on Thursday, Modi once again claimed that he is available for questioning by the ED and also said he has replied to all the summons by the ED and that he has a threat to his life in India.

Modi has already “offered” to make himself available in London for interrogation by ED and said he would bear the expenses of ED personnel travelling to London to question him for alleged FEMA violations by IPL franchises.

Responding to allegations that Modi is absconding, Abdi clarified that his client is not absconding and he will come to India once the security threats against him reduce. “There is threat to his life from some unwanted elements, and he will not return till the situation alters.”

“He is communicating with ED and other authorities from London,” Abdi said, adding that even on Thursday he sent a “reminder” to RPO, seeking clarification about the deadline, but no response came.

(Published 28 October 2010, 17:47 IST)

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