Lalit Modi money laundering case: PMLA court issues letter of request to competent authority in UK

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Special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in Mumbai has issued a Letters Rogatory (LR) to the competent authority in United Kingdom (UK) for execution of the warrant pending against the former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi.

Enforcement Directorate (ED) has been investigating a money laundering case against Modi pertaining to the deal for media rights during the IPL seasons, where Modi allegedly laundered around Rs 425 crore. The agency alleged in its application for LR that Modi entered into separate agreements with two companies Multi Screen Media (Singapore) Ltd. and World Sports Group (WSG) for broadcasting media rights.

However, there were discrepancies in connection with awarding broadcast media rights for Indian Premier League (IPL) and Modi is allegedly received monetary gains from this deal.

There were various summons issued to Lalit Modi to return to India and cooperate with the investigations. On not getting any response from him, a non bailable warrant was also issued in his name. Advocate Hiten Venegaonkar who represents ED said the agency has tried all possible ways to execute the warrants issued by the court but he has not replied. Venegaonkar added that the LR would now go to the court in UK where Modi will be summoned. “He will have to be present before the court there. UK court will see if the evidence of money laundering given are substantial or not. The court there can then extradite him to India.”

India and UK do not have an extradition treaty, allowing extradition of an accused or a criminal from foreign land easily. However, India and UK do share the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) , an agreement for the purpose of gathering and exchanging information in an effort to enforce laws.