New Delhi,Shrimi Choudhary: With Interpol inordinately delaying issuing red corner notices (RCN) against former commissioner of Indian Premier League (IPL) Lalit Modi, the government has now turned to the diplomatic power. The ministry of external affairs (MEA) has cleared the ‘extradition request’ against Lalit Modi sought by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with the alleged money laundering.
The decision has been taken under the provisions of the extradition treaty existing between India and the United Kingdom. Extradition is the legal process that involves transfer of a suspected or convicted criminal by a country to another.
ED has been making constant efforts to make Interpol to act, since September. A source in ED confirmed to dna that the extradition request has been cleared by the MEA and has been resent to the enforcement agency to take it forward.
On November 13, the ED had moved a formal request to the ministry of home affairs (MHA) for initiating extradition proceedings against Modi based on a non-bailable arrest warrant against him. “In a request to ministry, the probe agency has clearly mentioned that the convict they are looking for is in the UK,” an official told dna.
The MHA in consultation with the external affairs ministry has given a go-ahead to the agency for further course of action.
Under the extradition proceedings, the enforcement sleuths have to approach Prevention of Money laundering (PML) court for issuance of a legal extradition order against the suspect/accused. In this case, once the court issues the order, the ministry concerned will send it to the UK government. Sources said the fresh move would compel the UK government to implement the legal request and deport Modi.
“If Interpol issues RCN, it would help agencies to restrict Modi’s movement across the world. Even if it does not, we will have the extradition order to get him back,” said the ED source.
dna has learnt that at this point of time, ‘extradition’ is important because the international police organisation is unlikely to issue the RCN easily. In its fourth communication to ED in the first week of November, Interpol wanted the case details to be handed over to Modi as part of his fundamental rights. The Mumbai ED refused to part with any legal document against Modi as they feared that he would find some way to scuttle deportation.
Even on the three previous occasions, Interpol raised “frivolous queries” delaying Modi’s deportation.
ED has been probing Modi, the IPL and its executives for alleged violation of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The case relates to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which had awarded a 10-year media right to WSG for $918 million. WSG then entered into a deal with MSM to make Sony the official broadcaster. The contract was replaced later with a nine-year deal, where MSM paid $1.63 billion.