LalitModi’s letters!!!

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A letter to Mumbai Police asking for personnel armed with more lethal weapon than a 9mm pistol for his son’s security was among a series of correspondence cited by disgraced cricket administrator Lalit Modi to evade investigating agencies on grounds of threat perception.

However, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) called his bluff by questioning his claims of “elevated” security threat to stay away from India though he carried on with his IPL duties despite threatening emails from “underworld” before he left for Britain.

The probe agencies from ED to Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) had issued several summonses to the 50-year-old son of industrialist K K Modi to appear before them in the past five years but he had refused to do so.

The letters to Mumbai Police and responses to summons and show cause notices, which were posted in his official website, cited an email from underworld, intercepts by police and media reports about it.

In two letters he wrote to Mumbai Police within two weeks of leaving India in May 2010, he wanted police to restore his son’s security, which was withdrawn. The first letter came on May 23, 2010 and he said soon after the security withdrawal on May 21, his son’s car was tailed. He then narrated a ‘Bollywood style’ tale on how his men saved his son by making their second car block the tailing vehicle.

The second letter thanks police for restoring security but goes on to express concern on the police protection provided to his son by a personnel “who is armed with a 9mm weapon” for 12 hours. “I would be grateful if you could provide him with police protection 24X7 who is armed with carbine weapon if possible,” he wrote. Another letter showed security was provided to his family when they went out of Mumbai.

He also wanted to import a “bullet proof car” and got a “no objection” from police within four days. He had also written to then Home Minister Jayant Patil after authorities refused to allow him to have 100 per cent sun film on his vehicle.

Though he tagged such letters in his responses to agencies, the ED was not impressed and its officer wrote on record that Modi had not furnished any evidence of any threat perception for seeking recusal from personal appearance and staying abroad.

He had left India on May 13, 2010 soon after he was engulfed in the controversy related to corruption allegations. At that time, no agencies had issued notices against his travelling abroad and he made use of this opportunity.

Modi continued to argue that he was counselled not to travel to India but the ED noted that he did not provide the names of persons who advised him so.

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Interestingly, the ED said, Modi made several public appearances and participated in crowded functions in connection with IPL in 2010 April though he had received an email threat on October 14, 2009. The agency goes on to say that the threat perception did not come in the way of his hectic schedule.

“Thus it appears that Modi was avoiding the process of law under the pretext of security concerns,” the ED said.

“Modi was present all along India and carrying on his day to day activities unhindered by the threat perception. The documents furnished by him do not indicate any compelling reasons for his travel outside India. It is understood that Modi India left only after the irregularities in the conduct of IPL came to surface and investigations were intensified by the agencies,” it said.

(An edited version appeared in Deccan Herald on Jun 19, 2015)

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