With no help from Interpol, India takes to diplomacy for Lalit Modi extradition

Since September, ED had repeatedly requested the Interpol to act against Modi.

Updated: Dec 07, 2015, 15:29 PM IST
With no help from Interpol, India takes to diplomacy for Lalit Modi extradition

New Delhi: With no forward steps taken by the Interpol in issuing a red corner notice (RCN) against Lalit Modi, the Indian government has opted to use its diplomatic clout to extradite the former IPL commissioner.

According to a report in DNA newspaper, the ministry of external affairs (MEA) has paved the way for an 'extradition request', sought by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), against Modi with regards to his alleged involvement in money laundering as IPL chief.

The government took this step under the provisions of the extradition treaty that exists between India and UK.

Since September, ED had repeatedly requested the Interpol to act against Modi.

The ED moved a formal request to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on November 13 to fast track the process of bringing Modi back to India.

ED wants a non-bailable arrest warrant issued against him.

"In a request to ministry, the probe agency has clearly mentioned that the convict they are looking for is in the UK," an official told DNA.

The MHA, after consulting with external affairs ministry, has given the green signal to the agency to further pursue the matter.

As per rules, enforcement sleuths need to go to Prevention of Money laundering (PML) court to get a legal extradition order against the suspect/accused.

In case of Modi, when court issues the order, the concerned ministry will forward it to the UK government. According to sources, this new development will push the UK government to implement the legal request and deport the controversial cricket administrator.

"If Interpol issues RCN, it would help agencies to restrict Modi's movement across the world. Even if it does not, we will have the extradition order to get him back," said the ED source.

Since the Interpol is unlikely to issue a RCN against Modi easily, his 'extradition' is very critical.

In the first week of November, the global agency asked the ED to pass on the details of the case to Modi citing it was his fundamental right.

However, the Mumbai ED refused to do so, as they felt Modi would find a way to avoid deportation with access to these legal documents.

Interpol has already raised "frivolous queries" on three occasions, thereby stalling Modi's deportation.

Modi is being probed by the ED for alleged violation of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) during his tenure as IPL chief. At the time, BCCI handed a 10-year media rights contract to WSG for $918 million. WSG struck a deal with MSM to make Sony the official broadcaster of IPL. This contract was then substituted by a new nine-year deal that saw MSM get paid $1.63 billion.