Mumbai: Enforcement Directorate today moved a special court here seeking issuance of a non-bailable warrant (NBW) against former IPL chief Lalit Modi in a case of alleged money laundering registered against him.
The central agency approached the special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) Court after Modi, who has made London his home, did not respond to summons.
"We have moved the court seeking NBW as he has not responded to the summons sent by us earlier this month", said an ED official.
The court is likely to hear the application on August 3.
While hearing the plea, the court asked a number of questions to ED's counsel. "Why has this application been moved now? Why have you not taken action in the last 2-3 years when the case was registered in 2012?" the court said.
The court also questioned ED what difficulties they faced and sought to know if there was any outside pressure. "What prevented them from moving this application earlier?"
The court also sought an explanation from the agency about the action taken from the date of inception of the alleged offence.
While arguing issuance of NBW, the agency told the court that they made several attempts to call Modi but he did not respond.
ED's lawyer Hiten Venegavkar told the court that the agency served summons to Modi thrice through various modes but he has not responded to it and hence no other option was there but to seek warrant against him.
The agency also told the court that there were many factors and difficulties in the investigation as the agency can initiate action only once the police file charge sheet in the case.
Venegavkar said the agency has been investigating the case and collecting evidences and also got letters rogatory (LR) issued. "However, there were several issues that are in the personal knowledge of Modi," he told the court.
ED had first issued summons to the controversial former cricket administrator through his India-based lawyer. However, his counsel returned the document to the agency, saying he was not authorised to receive it. Later, the officials e-mailed the summons to Modi who left India in 2010.