Congress leader Anand Sharma on Sunday alleged that there is a protection being given to former IPL chairman Lalit Modi and demand that a SIT probe monitored by the Supreme Court must be done into the entire episode so that the people are made accountable.
Sharma, who was commenting on reports that the government has sought a report from Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria over his meeting with Lalit Modi, said that there cannot be double standards or double yardsticks at all.
“The Prime Minister by his silence cannot expect that this issue will die down. It is not a question of the Commissioner of Police of Mumbai, here we are talking of the External Affairs Minister, here we are also talking about the Chief Minister of Rajasthan; those who felicitated the issuance of travel documents have committed gross impropriety,” he told the media here.
The Mumbai Police Commissioner had earlier confirmed that he had met Lalit Modi in London last year.
In a statement issued by the office of the Mumbai Police Commissioner, Maria said that he was approached by an advocate representing Lalit Modi who stated that the former IPL boss wanted to meet him.
“In the month of July 2014, I officially attended a Conference in London. At the conference, I was approached by an advocate representing Lalit Modi who stated that Lalit Modi wanted to meet me as regards to a grave threat to his and family’s life in London. It may be recollected that as Jt. CP Crime, Mumbai in the year 2009-10, the Crime Branch under me had foiled an attempt on his life by the Mumbai underworld,” the statement quoted Maria as saying.
“The advocated requested me that since it was a serious threat to his life, I should meet Lalit Modi briefly. As per the lawyer’s insistence, we met albeit briefly wherein Lalit Modi sought the Mumbai Police’s help as he and his family were being threatened by the underworld. I categorically informed Lalit Modi has no jurisdiction in London and that he should return to Mumbai to lodge a formal complaint,” he added.
Maria further said that Lalit Modi repeatedly kept requesting for Mumbai Police’s intervention against the underworld.
“I reiterated to Lalit Modi and his lawyer that it was imperative for Lalit Modi to return to Mumbai for the Mumbai Police to initiate any inquiry. Thereafter, the meeting which lasted for barely 15-20 minutes concluded,” Maria said.
“On my return to India, I immediately brought the above details to the notice of the Home Minister, M.S and also maintained the requisite confidential record of the same. Besides the Anti-Extortion cell of the Mumbai Police was also given in writing the details of what had transpired in the meeting for discreet enquiry at their end,” he added.
The Mumbai Police Commissioner’s disclosure comes at a time when External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje are in the middle of a controversy over their role in helping the tainted former IPL Commissioner.