New Delhi: A court on Wednesday restored the passport of ousted Indian Premier League (IPL) boss Lalit Modi who is in exile in London following corruption allegations, his lawyer said.
The Indian government revoked Modi's passport in 2010 and he was banned for life from holding any position in the sport because of the allegations.
"We are very, very happy, our stand has been vindicated by the Delhi High Court," said lawyer Mehmood Abdi who had challenged the revocation order.
"For long, we've been saying that his passport was essentially revoked on erroneous and illegal grounds which could not be sustained by the department (that made the order)," he told reporters. Despite the court ruling, Modi is unlikely to return to India anytime soon because of fears he may be arrested by police who are investigating corruption and money-laundering charges against the veteran sports administrator.
The Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI), which has been locked in a running battle with Modi, last September imposed a life ban on the IPL founder after finding him guilty of "serious" acts of indiscipline and misconduct over allegations that he siphoned off funds.
The ban came a little over three years after Modi was removed as IPL chairman and BCCI vice-president following the end of the third edition of the popular Twenty20 league in 2010. The 50-year-old scion of a business family has denied all allegations against him. Modi's life ban is unrelated to spot-fixing and betting scandals that hit the IPL last year and that eventually prompted the Supreme Court to force Indian cricket chief N. Srinivasan to stand down until investigations were completed.
The IPL, which began in 2008, features the world's top players signed up for huge fees by companies and high-profile individuals in a glitzy mix of sport and entertainment.