The Bombay High Court on Thursday directed the Enforcement Directorate to provide documents to sacked IPL chief Lalit Modi based on which the central agency had issued him show cause notices in July 2011 and March 2013 for alleged foreign exchange violations in the IPL tournament held in South Africa in 2009.
A division bench of Justices S J Vazifdar and B P Colabawalla was hearing a petition filed by Modi seeking a direction to ED to provide him the documents which are mentioned in the show cause notice.
"If you (ED) wish to proceed with the show cause notice then provide the documents first," the court ordered. Additional solicitor general Kevic Setalvad sought stay on the order saying that it amounted to setting aside of the show cause notice itself. Agreeing to this, the court stayed its order for four weeks allowing ED to approach the apex court. The court, however, clarified that the directorate is not restrained from proceeding with the notices in accordance with this order.
This means that the agency can proceed with the notice after providing necessary documents to Modi. On July 20, 2011, the ED had issued show cause notice against Modi under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) regarding a bank account opened in South Africa by BCCI and IPL ahead of the cricketing event.
Pursuant to the notice, Modi's counsel appeared before ED and sought a copy of the documents relied on by the agency. Initially, the ED said it would give the documents. However, on December 16, 2011, the agency refused.
On March 2013, the ED issued another notice to Modi initiating adjudication proceedings against him and directed him to appear before it on April 1, 2013, for a personal hearing. Following this Modi filed the petition in HC.
"Since the show cause notice was issued, the petitioner's solicitors have been writing letters to the ED seeking access to the documents relied upon for issuance of notice and adjudication proceedings," the petition said.