London: Former IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi has rubbished media reports that the Indian government has sought help of British authorities to deport him from the United Kingdom, saying such stories were based on "innuendo and mis-information".
"The continued stories suggesting the Ministry for External Affairs is requesting assistance from the UK authorities to enforce my return to India for questioning are based on innuendo and mis-information," Modi said in a statement.
"The intention is clearly to suggest I am avoiding official requests to co-operate and to give the perception that I therefore have something to hide. The truth of the matter is very different," he said.
Modi, who was sacked as IPL chief hours after the third edition was over in 2010, said he had to leave India due to death threat to him and his family and he was cooperating with the investigative agencies while staying in London.
"There was an impression created that I have been trying to evade questioning by Indian authorities. This is untrue. I was forced to leave India when the security provided to me by the police was suddenly withdrawn. The security cover had been given because the central intelligence agencies in India had intercepted communications which established a plan of underworld operatives to assassinate me," Modi said.
"In view of the security risk to me in India I requested that I should answer any questions by way of an interrogatory questionnaire or appear on video link or get to be questioned in person in the Indian High Commission in the U.K.¬ These were all valid modes under the law for co-operating but¬ the ED chose to ignore all of them," he said.
"I remain a legal resident in England and there is nothing I can provide to the authorities by travelling to India that I cannot provide from London."
According to sources, Finance Ministry has written to the External Affairs Ministry pointing out that Modi continues to stay in the UK for a long time even though his passport has been revoked. The matter is, however, sub-judice.
The request by the Finance Ministry has been made on the plea of the Enforcement Directorate which is probing the role of Modi in the alleged financial irregularities in the conduct of IPL.
Modi said that death threats on him and his family still exists and his and his family's safety cannot be guaranteed in India.
"Death threats, relating to any return to India, are still being made as were¬ reported recently in a section of Pakistani media. The Authorities are aware of the ongoing status of the threats and they have made it clear they cannot guarantee my personal safety or that of my family, if I were to return," he claimed.
Story first published on: Monday, 19 November 2012 15:28 IST