Keeping track of #Lalitgate

New Delhi: Lalitgate, the hot, trending topic of the week has taken another turn. After Union Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje came into limelight for allegedly being close to industrialist Lalit Modi and helping him in external affairs, the President of India Pranab Mukherjee now has been dragged into the row.

Lalit Modi claimed that Pranab Mukherjee — as finance minister in 2010 in the UPA tenure — ordered an Enforcement Directorate (ED) probe into his IPL business deals and personal financial transactions.

The IPL founder earlier blamed then home minister P Chidambaram for persecuting him for the same reason, a charge the latter has trashed.

Modi alleged Mukherjee in his 46-page statement to UK authorities, seeking permission to stay on “as a representative of an overseas business.”

According to the founder of IPL, Mukherjee’s reaction was part of the Congress backlash for his claims in April 2010 that Tharoor’s late wife Sunanda Pushkar held 25% shares in the Kochi IPL franchise and it was Tharoor who made the bid for the franchise.

Days later, his tweets on the Kochi franchise and Shashi Tharoor’s resignation, the I-T department raided the BCCI office and questioned him, Lalit Modi told UK authorities.


Tracing LalitGate

April-May 2010

Financial irregularities in the league emerge. Accused of grave misconduct – fixing the auctions, creating slush funds, manipulating broadcast deals, plotting a parallel IPL working with English counties –Modi leaves the country. Srinivasan says Modi’s replies to show-cause notices from the BCCI are unacceptable.

October 13, 2010

Enforcement Directorate (ED) asks Ministry of External Affairs to revoke Lalit Modi’s passport, a move clearly aimed at his deportation from UK. ED also asked Mumbai Passport Office to seize his passport.

October 14, 2010

Enforcement Directorate issued a ‘Look Out Circular/Notice’ against former IPL Commissioner, Lalit Modi. Income Tax authorities had also issued notices and started investigations for serious financial bungling against Lalit Modi.

March 2011

The passport of Lalit Modi revoked by the Mumbai Regional Passport Office.

February 7, 2012

Accused Srinivasan for fixing auction of Andrew Flintoff in 2009. Flintoff was bought by Chennai Super Kings, a team owned by India Cements. Srinivasan is vice-chairman and managing director of India Cements.

March 26, 2012

Cairns wins the libel case against Modi, who is ordered to pay the damages – $142,000 – and cost – $2.4m.

January 16, 2013

The Delhi high court dismissed a petition filed by Modi seeking restoration of his passport. Along with a battery of lawyers led by U Lalit, Sushma Swaraj daughter Bansvri Swaraj also appeared on behalf of Modi.

May-June, 2013

Indian Government (UPA) asked the British Government for action against former IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi who had sought refuge in London, UK. The then Finance Minister, P Chidambaram, wrote two letters to Chancellor of Exchequer, George Osborne asking him for action against Lalit Modi and his repatriation to India for being tried under various offences including FEMA violations and other violations being investigated by Enforcement Directorate and the Income Tax authorities.

During his visit to UK in June 2013, P Chidambaram personally raises the matter for action against Lalit Modi with the Chancellor of Exchequer.

September 2013

The BCCI disciplinary committee finds Lalit Modi guilty, a special general meeting is called, but Modi manages interim relief by procuring a stay order against the proceedings. The BCCI moves Supreme Court and gets the stay revoked. As soon as the SC turns down Modi’s counter appeal, the BCCI announces the expulsion.

May 6, 2014

The return of Vasundhara Raje government in Rajasthan. Lalit Modi is declared the winner of the Rajasthan Cricket Association election. The BCCI – via its interim president Shivlal Yadav – responds immediately by suspending the RCA.

May 16, 2014

BJP government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power. Sushma Swaraj inducted as External Affairs Minister.

July 31, 2014

British Labour MP Keith Vaz wrote to Sarah Rapson, Director of UK Visas & Immigration Department asking for grant of travel documents to Lalit Modi. Following are the excerpts of contents of the e-mail:

“Foreign Minister of India (Sushma Swaraj) has spoken to me making it very clear that the Indian Government has no objection to the travel document being granted which is contrary to what the refusal notice has stated. Swaraj has also spoken to James Bevan, who even though is on leave, said he will speak to the relevant person in the Home Office. Frankly everyone has been involved in this apart from Ban-ki-Moon.”

July 31, 2014

Sarah Rapson wrote to Keith Vaz. Following are the excerpts of contents: “We are looking into this and will give you a proper update.”

1st August, 2014

Sarah Rapson wrote to Keith Vaz and informed him about clearance of travel documents of Lalit Modi.


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