ED is expected to make a fresh request for extradition of former IPL chairman Lalit Modi
under India-UK Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) in connection with its money laundering probe against him.
Sources said that after the Ministry of External Affairs made certain suggestions to the probe agency indicating that a regular extradition of the accused from the United Kingdom could only be made after filing a charge sheet in the case, ED now plans to use the MLAT route.
“Keeping in mind the sensitivity of the case, Enforcement Directorate has been requested to intimate their concurrence on the options and suggestions made by MEA and to advise us how to proceed further in the matter.
Now, we are awaiting comments of the Enforcement Directorate,” Spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs Vikas Swarup said today.
Last month, ED had requested MEA to take up with British authorities the issue of extradition of Modi to India.
Following the communication from ED, MEA’s legal team examined the matter.
The 1992 India-UK MLAT has a clause where the treaty can be invoked in a criminal probe case seeking the “transfer of persons, including persons in custody, for the purpose of assisting in investigations or giving evidence” and it is understood that ED considers this step a better legal tool than the regular extradition action to get Modi back.
The agency will not have to file a charge sheet while going through the MLAT route, they said.
The agency wants Modi to “join investigation” in a case relating to Indian Premier League (IPL) T-20 cricket tournament after an FIR was registered against him and others under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
A special court in Mumbai had two months back issued an order allowing ED to begin extradition proceedings against Modi in connection with the money laundering case which also involves some other people.
In August last year, the agency had moved the Interpol for a red corner notice against Modi but the international police body has not obliged it as yet.
Interpol authorities have, time and again, sought additional information from ED investigators on their money laundering case against Modi as part of the process to issue a
world-wide warrant against him.
As per ED investigators, they have substantial evidence that Modi is based in the UK at present.
Modi has, however, denied any wrongdoing.