Mumbai, Friday, February 7th: The Divisional Bench of the Honourable Bombay High Court has set aside the opinion formed by the ED (Enforcement Directorate) to hold adjudication proceedings against Mr. Lalit Modi. The bench comprising Justice Vajifdar and Justice Collabawala allowed the same on two counts.
The two counts being, the violation of principles of natural justice whereby much of the documents relied upon by the agency were not supplied and the opinion rendered was wholly unreasoned.
The court has given an option to the ED to issue a fresh show cause notice. Either the ED chooses not to rely on the said documents which it has consistently failed to supply despite repeated demands; in which case it should choose to exclude those documents from consideration all together. If it chooses to rely upon the said documents, then the agency should supply all the documents and give a fresh opportunity to the defendant to reply and then form a reasoned opinion.
The bench on request of the ASG (Additional Solicitor General) appearing for the ED stayed the order for 4 weeks on the statement that the ED in the meantime will not proceed against Mr.Lalit Modi. Mr. Mehmood Abdi added that ED issued the show cause notice but did not supply documents that were relied upon. “Mr. Lalit Modi sought those documents but on one pretext or other, the ED denied access to those documents though clearly as per adjudication rules these should have been supplied.
“Our stand has been vindicated by the Hon’ble Bombay High Court. This shows that it was not Mr. Modi who has not been cooperating with the ED as has been sought to be made out, but on the contrary, it's the other way around.” Abdi concluded.