New Delhi: The Supreme Court Tuesday stayed the Bombay High Court order directing the Enforcement Directorate to allow cross examination of five persons by former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi in a case of alleged violation of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).
A bench of Justices RF Nariman, Navin Sinha and Krishna Murari sought response from Modi on the ED plea and tagged the matter with other appeals related to the case.
“In the meanwhile, there shall be stay of operation of the impugned judgment and order of the High Court,” the bench said, while issuing notice to Lalit Modi in the matter.
On June 20, 2019, the High Court had set aside three communications of the ED including one of July 8, 2018, to the extent that it refuses to grant cross examination of the persons whose statements are relied upon by the agency.
It had said, “The Respondent No.1 (ED) is directed to offer cross examination of all persons on whose statements, it seeks to rely upon for adjudication”.
Modi had sought cross examination of former BCCI president N Srinivasan, Peter Griffith, Andrew Wildblood, A K Nazeer Khan and D K Singh (complainant), whose statements are being relied upon by the ED in the adjudication proceedings.
Lalit Modi had also sought joint hearing of all the persons served the show cause notices from the ED which was also rejected by the agency by communication dated January 8, 2018.
The High Court while setting aside the communication of January 8, 2018, said that ED would consider the prayer for joint hearing and pass an appropriate order in consonance with principles of natural justice.
It had also set aside the ED’s communication dated August 21, 2018, to the extent it refuses to give the copy of BCCI to the showcause notice dated July 20, 2011.
The High Court had said, “The Respondent No.1 (ED) would consider afresh the request and pass an order in accordance with principle of natural justice”.
The case commenced consequent to complaint dated July 13, 2011 under the provisions of FEMA Act made by ED official DK Singh.
On the basis of the complaint, ED had issued the showcause notice dated July 20, 2011 to the BCCI, N Srinivasan, M P Pandov and Lalit Modi.
The basis of the notice was that BCCI had hired consultant – International Management Group UK Ltd., (IMG) and payments made to it were in breach of the FEMA Act.
Lalit Modi and others were being proceeded against under Section 42 of the FEMA Act, as being person’s in-charge/ in control of the then management of BCCI.