Mumbai: Underworld don threatens Lalit Modi's advocate
Mehmood Abdi claims he got a call from Ravi Pujari, warning him and his family of dire consequences if he continued to represent the tainted ex-IPL commissioner
It looks like controversies refuse to end for former Indian Premier League (IPL) commissioner Lalit Modi and those associated with him. While Modi is battling corruption charges in the court of law, it has been learnt that his lawyer Mehmood Abdi has received a threat call from underworld don Ravi Pujari.
At the receiving end: Mehmood Abdi
In his complaint letter to the Oshiwara police, Abdi claimed he got a call from an unknown number around 2:15 pm on Sunday, wherein the caller threatened him with dire consequences if he continued to defend Modi. Abdi claimed the caller identified himself as underworld don Ravi Pujari, following which he immediately contacted the Oshiwara police and filed a written complaint.
The letter reads: “The caller said he has bumped off a lawyer in Bangalore. He threatened me to refrain from attending Lalit Modi’s matters, or else he will harm my family and me. He also informed me that his boys have already seen my address and know about my family. He wanted me to note down the telephone number (from which the call was made), which I could not as I was driving.”
When contacted, Abdi confirmed that he had received the threat call and claimed that the call’s location was traced to Australia.
Commenting on the case, an official from Oshiwara police station said the case has been forwarded to the Anti-Extortion Cell (AEC). “The lawyer had come to the police station and registered a complaint about the incident. We have forwarded his complaint to the AEC, and further investigation is on,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) moved the special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court yesterday seeking a non-bailable warrant against Modi for his alleged involvement in a money laundering case. Earlier, the ED had sent Modi summons to cooperate. However, it chose the legal recourse after the tainted ex-IPL commissioner refused to cooperate.
Sinking deeper? Lalit Modi. File pic
Hearing their plea for issuance of a non-bailable warrant, the judge said, “You have done nothing in two-three years. What were you doing all this time? Give me details and what actions you have taken so far.”
Replying to the judge’s queries, the lawyer representing the ED informed the court that Modi failed to show up despite being summoned thrice in the past. ED officials also claimed to have found hard evidence against Modi. The prosecutor also alleged that Modi was capable of destroying the newfound evidence against him.
The case dates back to a 2008 deal between Multi Screen Media (MSM) and World Sports Group (WSG) for acquisition of television rights of IPL worth R25 crore. There were allegations of misappropriation of the funds after the ED initiated a probe in 2009 under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), 1999. Later, a money laundering case was filed a year after BCCI’s complaint. In 2012, ED named Modi as one of the accused in the case.
— Inputs by Diya Sakhuja