16 June 2017 last updated at 07:30 GMT
 
LKM Blogs
Ministry Of External Affairs - The Facts
By Lalit K Modi 19th November, 2012

No personal investigation against me!

The continued stories suggesting the Ministry for External Affairs is requesting assistance from the UK authorities to enforce my return to India for questioning are based on innuendo and mis-information. The intention is clearly to suggest I am avoiding official requests to co-operate and to give the perception that I therefore have something to hide. The truth of the matter is very different.

The so-called investigations started following the high profile resignation of Mr Shashi  Tharoor, India's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs on the basis of  my tweets disclosing  sweat equity in the Kochi franchise of the IPL.  The tax enforcement wings of the Indian Government, namely Income Tax department and Enforcement Directorate (ED) acting under the provisions of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) started making enquiries without any formal complaint. This created the perception that  some contravention  may have been committed. It resulted in a  smoke screen of unsubstantiated and uncorroborated allegations from doctored and selective leaks to the media so that in the ensuing media “trial” the objective and hard facts take a back seat. There is no power of arrest or custodial interrogation either under investigations taken under Income Tax Act or FEMA  and therefore requirement of physical presence can be dispensed with. However, an impression was sought to be created as if some offence has been committed by me for which I need to be brought to - and questioned in - India.  The  ED and the Income Tax department come under the Ministry of Finance. For quite some time now I have been making public my views through Twitter regarding the impropriety of re-inducting Mr Shashi Tharoor. The  timing of the demand to enforce my return needs to be viewed in that perspective.

There was also an impression created that I have been trying to evade questioning by the Indian authorities. This is also untrue.  I was forced to leave India when the security provided to me by the police  was suddenly withdrawn . The security cover had been given because the central intelligence agencies in India had intercepted communications which established a plan of underworld operatives to assassinate me. It was the communication from intelligence agencies that led Mumbai police to provide round the clock armed security with carbines and security vehicles to me and my family. However after my tweets led to the resignation of Mr Tharoor, the establishment came back with a vengeance . A series of investigations were started by income tax authorities and after some days I found that without any prior warning, the security cover was suddenly withdrawn leaving me and my family exposed to serious risk to life.

I shall be providing a full update on the security issues on these pages very shortly to emphasise the real and serious nature of the threats to my life.

Under the circumstances of withdrawal I was left with no option but to move out of India on the morning of 14th May 2010. Before my security cover was withdrawn,I  had co-operated completely with income  tax authorities and given my detailed  response to BCCI's show cause notice.  At this point, the Enforcement Directorate was not even in the picture. The Enforcement Directorate issued its first summons to me on 2nd August 2010 seeking certain documents pertaining to IPL contracts and asking me to attend their offices in person. All the documents sought were duly supplied by me.

Summons 2-8-2010: My reply

Summons 24-8-2010: My reply

Summons 1-10-2010: My reply

Summons 24-10-2010

In view of the security risk to me in India I requested that I should answer any questions by way of an interrogatory questionnaire or appear on video link or get to be questioned in person in the Indian High Commission in the U.K.  These were all valid modes under the law for co-operating but  the ED chose to ignore all of them .

Clarifying my position, I wish to make two fundamental and immediate points on the wider issue of the investigation itself.

It has been suggested that I alone, am facing allegations surrounding alleged financial irregularities within the IPL and that I alone, am under investigation. This is not true.

The Show Cause notices issued by the ED in 2011 and 2012 were distributed to up to 10 recipients. These include the BCCI itself as well as individuals including current President, N. Srinivasan, S. Manohar, M. Pandove, R. Shetty. These recipients, like me, were officers of the BCCI at the time the investigation is focused upon. I am included in my capacity as IPL Chairman. However the fact that I had no financial powers is entirely ignored.

Show Cause Notice 20-7-2011: My reply

Show Cause Notice 25-11-2011: My reply

Show Cause Notice 21-2-2012: My reply

Show Cause Notice 23-8-2012

It has been suggested that the Ministry of Finance wishes to pursue "issues" regarding my own financial transactions. 

The Show Cause Notices do not, at any point, indicate they are pursuing personal allegations against me individually. As a former Chairman of the IPL I have been asked to respond to information contained within the Show Cause Notices relating to the activities of the IPL, a tournament which is run under the auspices of the BCCI and governed by the BCCI accordingly. The IPL Committee has no independent jurisdiction and all matters relating to IPL finances and general conduct ultimately rest within the BCCI and are jointly controlled by the Treasurer and Secretary of the BCCI. My involvement in the investigation has been requested in order to assist the overall investigation. It is not an investigation into Lalit Modi.

Correspondence received by my legal advisors from the Economic Offences Wing of the Mumbai Police  in November 2011, confirms this point. Under the Right to Information Act, my legal team asked if I was being investigated, was likely to be investigated, or if a complaint against me as an individual had been placed. In response to the questions posed the answer was:

"In this connection on perusal of records of the Economic Crime Branch, no record of enquiry /First Information report from 2009 to November 2011 against Shri Lalit Kumar Modi (Ex Chairman India Premier League) is filed. Hence the report in this connection is nil."

You can see the original signed version of the letter by clicking here (Marathi version)

You can see the English translation of the original signed letter by clicking here (English version)


The Enforcement Directorate has issued four show cause notices . I have given detailed replies explaining my position. All these notices state that I can appear through my representative - either a chartered accountant or a lawyer. However no date of any hearing has ever been given by the ED in the last two years .

On 3rd September 2012, I presented my latest response to various Show Cause Notices in a letter to the Special Director of the Enforcement Directorate. This 46 page document and associated annexures, formed a preliminary reply that was provided to confirm to the authorities my full commitment to my co-operation. In the letter sent through my lawyers, we confirmed that we were prepared to provide an even more detailed response when in receipt of the important, additional documentation we had requested from the E.D. to aid our task of responding. These documents have never been received. 

Within my preliminary reply, I addressed all points made by the E.D. in their Show Cause Notices. The Show Cause Notices and my full reply - and ALL Show Cause notices and full replies - are available by clicking here.

Specifically, I would draw your attention to the following points within my reply of 3rd September, 2012.

Quote from Reply

Page

Reference

The Show Cause Notice indicates that there is no personal allegation against our client of having violated any of the provisions of FEMA.

3

9

Our client, through his constituted attorney, voluntarily received the Show Cause notices from the office of the Enforcement Directorate so that he can participate in the adjudication proceedings.

3

10

Our client has provided documentary evidence to the complainant which illustrate collective council or board approval for all activities. Thus, no action of our client can be termed as unauthorised, unilateral actions on his behalf.

6

24

(With reference to IPL 2 in South Africa) That through the Working Committee in its meeting dated 22nd March, 2009, it was agreed that BCCI would operate a bank account after taking due approval of RBI and Mr. N Srinivasan was to circulate an appropriate resolution in this regard. To the best of our knowledge, no such resolution was circulated.

8

32

....Mr. N. Srinivasan entered into an agreement whereby Cricket South Africa and not BCCI was to open and operate a dedicated account.

9

32

It was Mr. N. Srinivasan’s view that since the bank account is being opened and operated by CSA and not BCCI the same would not require any approval from RBI. (FEMA regulation relating to foreign transactions)

10

34

I urge you to read my full replies by clicking here

From 23rd to 27th  January 2012  I received a representation from the Income Tax Department to my home in London. The Director General of Investigation (Income Tax) Mr M. Silo and Commissioner of Investigation Mr H.V. Mahanta  travelled to meet me. The visit was organised with my full approval and promise of co-operation. The meetings were conducted over FIVE DAYS and covered the entire range of enquiries that the Income Tax department had . Full co-operation was extended to the Income Tax department and all the questions were answered. It is clear that if the Income Tax Authorities, were aware of  the security concern and therefore chose to meet me in U.K. the same course could have been adopted by Enforcement Directorate Officials .

It is a long established fact that my residency in England is the result of death threats made against me and my family. These are threats that have been acknowledged by the authorities who further acknowledged the advice I received to leave India. The documents evidencing such threats from the underworld by known gangs are  in the possession of the Mumbai Police . Under the Right To Information Act, my constituted attorney has received from Mumbai Police documents which indicate such threats . There are reports from intelligence and security dossiers evidencing threats .These security threats were duly confirmed to the Enforcement Directorate and IT Department by the Mumbai Police. However, Enforcement Directorate suppressed the information of security threats confirmed to them by Mumbai.

Death threats, relating to any return to India, are still being made as were  reported recently in a section of Pakistani media. The Authorities are aware of the ongoing status of the threats and they have made it clear they cannot guarantee my personal safety or that of my family, if I were to return. 

My Passport revocation is an arbitrary and unnecessary infringement of my personal rights and liberty. It is an act I am challenging through the courts and is therefore sub judice.

The investigation being conducted into the IPL - not me personally - are not into any offence much less an extraditable offence  and the story relating to extradition is  therefore erroneous. It is clear this story has been positioned to increase the perception of me as a fugitive and an individual who is evading the authorities. I remain a legal resident in England and there is nothing I can provide to the authorities by travelling to India that I cannot provide from London. 

Throughout the last two years, no investigation has resulted in charges against me. A series of investigations, which it seems, are intended to direct attention in my direction, perhaps for the benefit of others, remain in the public domain without any sight of an outcome. I have requested that these investigations should be concluded for the benefit of public closure and transparency, but while they remain open, the suspicion continues without support from any shred of evidence against me personally. 

The stories that suggest a chase across the world in search of a fugitive with plenty to hide, are inaccurate, mis-informed and without any foundation. It is a propaganda trail which has no basis in fact. I shall continue to co-operate with any request made to me by the Indian authorities in connection with an investigation that has requested equal co-operation from many others, but at no point, made any personal allegation against me.

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