New Delhi, Aug 27 (IANS) Former Indian Premier League (IPL) chairman and commissioner Lalit Modi Wednesday said it has been a long hard fight for him to get his Indian passport restored.
“It has been a long and hard fight and today, I stand vindicated. I have always believed in our legal system and finally justice has prevailed. Virtually every case that was based on falsehoods has not been able to stand up to our legal system and for that I am thankful,” said Modi in a statement.
The Delhi High Court paved the way for Modi’s return to India by restoring his passport here Wednesday. Modi, had been expelled by the Indian cricket board and has been living in England in exile since 2010. His passport was revoked in March 2011 after he allegedly eluded the investigating agencies over allegations of foreign exchange violations in the IPL.
But Modi can return home safely now.
“I have always maintained that I am keen to return to India and return I will sooner rather than later. But I will continue to fight the good fight for the sake of cleansing our beloved game of cricket and everything that continues to ail it,” he added.
The Delhi High Court’s division bench of Justice B.D. Ahmed and Justice Vibhu Bakhru allowed Modi’s plea challenging the revocation of his passport. The regional passport office in Mumbai had revoked Modi’s passport March 3, 2011, following an Enforcement Directorate probe into allegations of financial irregularities in the IPL.
Modi is facing cases under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) related to the IPL and his presence was required before the Enforcement Directorate.
The bench said it was not expressing any opinion with regard to the alleged FEMA violations by Modi. The bench held that the revocation order was invalid.
Modi, who has been elected president of the Rajasthan Cricket Association but remains banned by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), had challenged the single bench order of Jan 16, 2013 that dismissed his plea challenging the revocation of his passport.
The Enforcement Directorate had made a request to the Regional Passport Office in Mumbai that Modi be either called back or his passport be revoked.