Lalitgate: Maha govt gives clean chit to Mumbai Police Chief Rakesh Maria

Mumbai: The Maharashtra government has given a clean chit to Mumbai police commissioner Rakesh Maria after finding “satisfactory” his explanation regarding his meeting with Lalit Modi in London last year.

Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria
Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria

Additional chief secretary (home) KP Bakshi, who had sought “information” from Maria regarding his meeting with the former IPL chief in July last year, has concluded that the IPS officer did not violate any service rules in meeting Lalit Modi, who is facing money laundering charges in India, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday said.

“KP Bakshi, in his report, has stated that no (service) conduct rules were broken by Rakesh Maria when he met Lalit Modi in London. He also stated that Maria’s explanation to him (Bakshi) (about the meeting) seemed satisfactory,” Fadnavis told PTI.

Meanwhile, a senior official from the chief minister’s office (CMO) said all rumours about Maria’s possible transfer were “a mere creation of the media” and there was no plan to shift him.

“It is highly unlikely that Maria will be transferred. The CM (who also holds the home portfolio) currently has no plan to transfer him,” said the high-ranking official on condition of anonymity.

Maria got entangled in a controversy after a news channel last week telecast photos of Maria with the fugitive former IPL chief.

The Mumbai police chief subsequently issued a statement, saying he had indeed met the ex-IPL boss on the insistence of Lalit Modi’s lawyer in London last year.

During the meeting, Modi sought the help of Mumbai police in view of “threat” to his life by the underworld in London, Maria said, adding that he had apprised the then home minister (late RR Patil) about the meeting soon after his return.

Opposition Congress, which was in power along with NCP at the time of the episode, had slammed Maria over the meeting and demanded action against him.

Lalit Modi, facing probe by Enforcement Directorate, is in news following revelations that external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje had extended help to the tainted cricket administrator, who is staying in the UK capital since 2010.