In a fresh twist to the ongoing controversy over Lalit Modi, Mumbai Commissioner of Police Rakesh Maria confirmed that he had met the former IPL chief in London last year.
In a statement, Maria said Modi had sought security for himself and his family in London but he was asked to come back to Mumbai.
Maria, one of the leading anti-terror specialists in the country, said he was approached by a lawyer representing Modi, while he was attending a conference in London in July 2014.
According to the police chief, the lawyer cited reasons of grave threats to the life of Modi and his family.
“It may be recollected that as joint commissioner of police (crime) in the year 2009-10, the Crime Branch under me foiled an attempt on his (Modi’s) life by the Mumbai underworld,” Maria said in the statement.
According to Maria, the lawyer requested him to meet Modi briefly in view of the threat to his life.
“As per the lawyer’s insistence, we met, albeit briefly, wherein Modi sought the Mumbai police’s help as he and his family was being threatened by the underworld,” he said.
Maria said he categorically informed Modi that Mumbai police has no jurisdiction in London and that he should return to Mumbai to register a formal complaint.
“Lalit Modi kept requesting Mumbai police intervention against the underworld. I reiterated to 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 15 to 20 minutes, concluded,” he said.
On his return to Mumbai, Maria informed the then state home minister, the late R.R. Patil about the meeting and also kept a “confidential record” of the same.
Besides, the Anti-Extortion Cell of Mumbai police was also given in writing the details of what transpired in the meeting for discreet inquiry at their end.
Maria is the latest high profile name in the ongoing controversy which has been raging in the Indian political circles since the past few days.