Delhi HC issues notice to External Affairs ministry over Lalit Modi's passport plea

Delhi High Court has sought a reply from the External Affairs Ministry by April 29 © Getty Images

New Delhi: Mar 5, 2013

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday issued notice to the external affairs ministry on an appeal of sacked Indian Premier League (IPL) chairman Lalit Modi challenging its earlier order on the revocation of his passport.

A division bench of Chief Justice D. Murugesan and Justice V.K. Jain also issued notices to regional passport office (RPO) in Mumbai and chief passport officer (CPO) and sought their response by April 29.

Modi challenged the single bench order of Jan 16 that dismissed his plea challenging the revocation of his passport. He is facing an Enforcement Directorate (ED) probe into allegations of financial irregularities.

The regional passport office in Mumbai had revoked Modi’s passport March 3, 2010, following the ED probe.

Dismissing Modi’s appeal filed in April 2010, Joint Secretary Muktesh K. Pardeshi had said: “The Enforcement Directorate, being an arm of the government and the designated agency to go into the question of violation of provision of Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999, is competent to make recommendation to the passport issuing authority to revoke the passport of an individual on the basis of investigation conducted by that agency.”

“The Mumbai passport office order has not violated any principle of natural justice because appellant (Modi) was informed of the proposed action and was given sufficient and even additional time to explain his side,” said Pardeshi in his Oct 31, 2010, reply.

The plea filed by Modi also sought quashing of the order of the passport authorities.

The ED had made a request to regional passport office in Mumbai that Modi be either called back or his passport be revoked. Modi is in Britain now.