The Supreme Court on Tuesday suspended the Bombay High Court order directing the Law Enforcement Directorate to allow five people to be cross-examined by former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi in a case of Alleged violation of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).
A bench of judges RF Nariman, Navin Sinha and Krishna Murari requested a response from Modi on the ED plea and marked the case with other appeals related to the case.
“In the meantime, there will be a stay of the execution of the judgment under appeal and of the order of the High Court,” said the bench, while sending a notice to Lalit Modi on the matter.
On June 20, 2019, the High Court quashed three communications from the ED including one from July 8, 2018, as it refuses to grant cross-examination of people whose statements are relied on by the agency.
He had said: “Respondent # 1 (ED) is ordered to offer cross-examination of all persons on whom he seeks to rely in ruling”.
Modi had requested the cross-examination of former BCCI President N Srinivasan, Peter Griffith, Andrew Wildblood, A K Nazeer Khan and D K Singh (complainant), whose statements are relied on by the ED in the arbitration proceedings.
Lalit Modi had also requested a joint hearing of all those who served the ED justification notices which was also rejected by the agency by communication dated January 8, 2018.
The High Court, while quashing the January 8, 2018 communication, said ED would consider the prayer for a joint hearing and make an appropriate order in accordance with the principles of natural justice.
He also canceled the ED’s communication dated August 21, 2018, insofar as he refused to hand over the BCCI copy to the notice of presentation dated July 20, 2011.
The High Court had said: “Defendant No. 1 (ED) would reconsider the claim and make an order in accordance with the principle of natural justice.”
The case was opened following a complaint dated July 13, 2011 under the provisions of FEMA law filed by official ED DK Singh.
On the basis of the complaint, ED had issued the notice of presentation dated July 20, 2011 to the BCCI, N Srinivasan, M P Pandov and Lalit Modi.
The basis for the advice was that BCCI had hired a consultant – International Management Group UK Ltd., (IMG) and the payments made to it violated FEMA law.
Lalit Modi and others were prosecuted under Article 42 of FEMA, as the manager / control of the BCCI.