Mumbai court issues non-bailable arrest warrant against Lalit Modi


Tainted former IPL chief Lalit Modi, who lives in London, could be on his way to India soon after a special Mumbai sessions court issued a non-bailable warrant against him on Wednesday in connection with a money laundering case.

“We will now forward the court’s orders to the Home Ministry. They could forward it then to the Home Department in the UK or to the Interpol,” said a source in the Enforcement Directorate, which handles cases of money laundering.

The charges against Modi include rigging the process of assigning broadcast rights of the IPL in 2009, in exchange of favours of Rs 100 crores. Testimony against Modi has also been provided by N. Srinivasan, head of the ICC and former chairman of BCCI.

Modi has created a national controversy lately because of his alleged links with top BJP members.

The 49-year-old was the founder of the cash-rich Indian Premier League launched in 2009. However, in 2010, he fled the country on the back of allegations of tax evasion, money laundering and proxy ownership of various franchises in the IPL. Ever since, Modi has refused to return to India, quoting death threats from members of the underworld.

Modi’s lawyers have maintained he could be available for questioning via video conference, an offer that was accepted by Delhi High Court. The Delhi court had also reinstated Modi’s Indian passport questioning why it was revoked earlier.

In recent weeks, however, even Parliament is being stalled because of Congress accusations that hold the government of protecting a ‘fugitive’. Congress alleges that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj spoke to UK officials last year to help Modi secure urgent travel papers to accompany his wife to Portugal.

Modi had himself said that Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje had earlier backed his immigration appeal.