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ED seeks Lalit Modi's extradition; writes to MHA

New Delhi: With Interpol delaying issuing Red Corner notice against former IPL Chairman Lalit Modi, the Enforcement Directorate has asked the government to initiate extradition proceedings with the UK in connection with its money laundering case registered against him and others.

Official sources said today that the agency has moved an official request in this regard to the Union Home Ministry with a copy of a recently issued non-bailable warrant by a Mumbai court against Modi.

"The ED has sought initiation of extradition proceedings against Lalit Modi based on a court warrant against him. It has been indicated by the agency that the man they are looking for is in the United Kingdom," they said.

Modi has been denying any wrong doing as alleged by the ED which claimed that he cheated BCCI-IPL in granting overseas telecast rights of the cricket tournament in 2009.

The sources said the Ministry, in consultation with the Ministry of External Affairs, will go through the ED request and decide on initiating the provisions of the extradition treaty existing between India and the UK.

The ED has been wanting Modi to "join investigations" in a case relating to T-20 cricket Indian Premier League (IPL) after an FIR was registered against him and others under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Earlier in August, the agency had moved the Interpol to get a Red Corner Notice issued against Modi but the global police body has not obliged the ED yet in this regard.

Recently, Interpol authorities, for the third time sought additional information from ED investigators on their money laundering case against Modi, as part of the process to issue such a world-wide notice against him.

The agency had sought Interpol's help as domestic legal options available to it for serving its summons to Modi issued under anti-money laundering laws had failed.

After Modi's legal representatives in Mumbai refused to accept the summons, contending they were not authorised for it, the ED had e-mailed it to the former IPL boss, who has made London his home, but elicited no response from him.

A Red Corner Notice is issued "to seek the location and arrest of wanted persons with a view to extradition or similar lawful action" in a criminal case probe.

Once the said notice is issued, the Interpol seeks to arrest the person concerned in any part of the world and notifies that country to take his or her custody for further action at their end.

The ED is probing Modi, the IPL and its executives for alleged violation of anti-money laundering laws after registering a criminal FIR in 2012. The FIR was filed after the central agency took cognisance of a cheating complaint filed by former BCCI chief N Srinivasan against Modi and half a dozen others with the Chennai police.

The ED subsequently invoked PMLA along with sections 420 (cheating) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC to probe if BCCI-IPL and the exchequer had been cheated in the award of telecast rights for the T-20 tournament in 2009.

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