Red Corner notice to be issued against Lalit Modi: Government

Jaipur/Dehradun: A Red Corner notice will be issued against Lalit Modi that will enable India to seek the extradition of the former IPL Commissioner from the UK in connection with a money laundering case registered against him, Government said on Friday.

The Government's approach to the escalating Lalit Modi controversy was outlined by Union Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore, a day after Rahul Gandhi attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying he lacked guts and challenged him to bring back to India the former cricket administrator who he described as the "biggest link" between the political system and black money.

Rathore slammed the Congress alleging that the party-led UPA government did not build a strong case against Modi, who is currently based in the UK.

"This government is making efforts to bring him(Lalit Modi) back. Now there are possibilities that a Red Corner notice would be issued against him," Rathore, the Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, told reporters in Jaipur at the BJP party office in Jaipur.

Rathore alleged that the previous UPA government was just "misleading" people on the issue of action against the former IPL Commissioner.

"During the UPA rule, only FEMA case was lodged against Lalit Modi which has no provision of arrest and maximum punishment is just penalty.

"A light Blue Corner notice was issued against him which is effective for regional airports only, then how a person sitting in London can be brought back," he asked.

A non-bailable arrest warrant was issued against Lalit Modi last week by a Mumbai court over his alleged involvement in financial irregularities in the IPL.

Rathore said that it was the NDA government which is taking forward the case against Lalit Modi. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar accused the previous UPA government of avoiding stern action against Lalit Modi, saying if it was serious about taking action against the former IPL boss it would have booked him under the money laundering act and not FEMA under which an offender can neither be declared an absconder nor served with a warrant.

"By booking Lalit Modi under FEMA, the UPA was obviously shying away from acting tough against him and many others who were hand-in-glove with him. He was booked under FEMA in 2010 and Congress was in power till 2014. Why wasn't any stern action initiated against the former IPL chairman all those years. If the UPA was serious about acting against him it would have initiated criminal proceedings against him under the Money Laundering Act and not FEMA," Parrikar told reporters in Dehradun.

Parrikar and Rathore brought up the Lalit Modi controversy as part of the BJP's programme to take on the Congress over the virtual wash-out of Parliament's month-long monsoon session mainly over the issue of the former cricketer administrator's links with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

Parrikar claimed that the real action against Lalit Modi was initiated by the Narendra Modi government.

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