As the probe against former Indian Premier League commissioner Lalit Modi gains momentum, with a notice issued to him for revocation of his passport, the government on Friday warned that appropriate action would be taken if no reply is received from him by October 28.
Foreign secretary Nirupama Rao said the notice was issued to Modi on October 13, with a 15-day timeline, but till Thursday there was no reply.
The Ministry for External Affairs received a request from the Enforcement Directorate on October 5 seeking revocation of Modi's passport in "public interest in general and in the interest of thorough investigation" into alleged irregularities in the IPL.
Modi holds a passport issued in Mumbai in July 2008 and the notice was issued by the Regional Passport Officer of Mumbai, she told reporters, when asked whether the MEA had taken any action on the ED's request.
Modi was issued a show cause notice on October 13, asking him to "explain why action under relevant sections of Passports Act 1967 should not be initiated" against him, Rao said.
Explaining that certain procedure is to be followed for revocation of a passport, she said, as per the provisions, 15 days' time was given to him to present his case.
On October 15, the ED provided an alternate residential address of Modi and a copy of the notice was sent there on that day itself, Rao added.
"The RPO, Mumbai, has confirmed that Modi has not responded to the notice till yesterday. The reply is awaited. If no reply is received within the stipulated time, action will be initiated by the RPO under relevant provisions," the foreign secretary said.
The high-flying Modi was suspended as IPL chairman immediately after the third edition of the hugely successful Twenty20 league for alleged financial irregularities.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India then formed a three-member disciplinary committee, comprising Arun Jaitley, interim IPL chairman Chirayu Amin and Jyotiraditya Scindia, to probe the alleged irregularities. He was ousted from the Board at its Annual General Meeting on September 29.