London: Former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi has been declared bankrupt by a London court over unpaid bills of 65,000 pounds (approximately Rs. 53 lakh) owed to a private security firm.
According to a report in `The Telegraph` daily, the order was passed last month and comes at a time when Modi is awaiting the judgment from a libel trial with the retired New Zealand all-rounder Chris Cairns.
Modi owes the Page Group, an international securities and risk assessment company, fees for services provided in 2010.
Modi in his defence said "Until the order was served, I was completely unaware of any outstanding monies. I have not seen any previous demands but since it came to my attention, I`ve even offered to lodge the sum being claimed with the court pending clarity. But for some reason, that was refused, by the company concerned."
The former BCCI vice-president and cricket entrepreneur, who now lives in London, feels that it is an attempt to gain cheap publicity by the securities firm.
Stuart Page, the company`s chairman, said: "It`s unfortunate that we have come to this situation but Modi has given us no other option. We gave Modi a number of security services in relation to threats made against him and his family. We submitted a number of invoices which were not paid."
Page further stated: "(Our) attempts to reach a settlement with Modi were to no avail and we were forced to take the action we have taken."
A hearing will be held in London shortly when Modi will attempt to have the order set aside.
"It is a ridiculous waste of everyone`s time and I can only assume it is being done in an attempt to gain some sort of publicity at my expense. Any suggestion that this order means I am unable to pay is equally ridiculous," Modi said.