Non-bailable warrant against Lalit Modi

Mumbai, Aug 5 (IANS) In a major setback to controversial former IPL chairman Lalit Modi, a Mumbai Special Court on Wednesday issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against him for alleged involvement in a money-laundering case registered by the Enforcement Directorate.

Last month, the ED had moved the Special Court seeking issue of an arrest warrant for investigating the case against the business tycoon.

Despite repeated attempts, Modi’s lawyers did not respond to calls and SMSes seeking his reaction in the matter.

“Your application is allowed,” Special Judge P.R. Bhavake told the ED counsel at the hearing on Wednesday morning.

When the matter came up before the court on Tuesday, Special Judge Bhavake wanted to know from the ED how an arrest warrant could be issued without a charge sheet being filed in the case and whether the court had powers to do so.

ED counsel H. Venegaonkar submitted that under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), cases follow a different format compared to regular criminal cases.

Besides, the lawyer contended that since the case was in the pre-investigation stage, the Special Court has the jurisdiction to issue the arrest warrant.

Moreover, since Modi was not in the country, the arrest warrant should be issued as he had failed to response to ED summons, Venegaonkar said.