New Delhi: A special Mumbai court on Wednesday accepted the Enforcement Directorate's plea for a non-bailable warrant (NBW) against former Indian Premier League (IPL) commissioner Lalit Modi.
The Special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court then issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against Modi in connection with money laundering case. The letter will be sent first to the Ministry of Home Affairs, then to the Home Office of United Kingdom.
Yesterday, the PMLA court had reserved its order on ED's plea seeking a non-bailable warrant against Modi. ED had moved the court last week seeking an NBW after Modi did not respond to the summons sent to him.
Special judge P R Bhavake on Tuesday sought to know why the agency was not arresting him and had sought NBW and whether a warrant can be issued during the investigation.
ED's lawyer Hiten Venegoankar said Lali Modi was not available in India, hence an NBW should be issued. Modi had not complied with the summonses issued to him since 2009, he claimed.
The judge asked if Modi was an accused before the court as ED had not filed a charge sheet against him. For issuance of NBW, the person should be an accused before the court, judge Bhavake remarked.
The ED lawyer said the case was at the stage of pre-investigation and the Supreme Court had said in a previous ruling that NBW can be issued during the investigation.
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 PTI inputs)