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Fadnavis seeks info from Maria on his meeting with Lalit Modi

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Mumbai:  Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today said Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria has been asked to provide “information” on his statement regarding his meeting with tainted ex-IPL boss Lalit Modi in London.

“We have asked Rakesh Maria to give information officially to the government on what he has said in the media. Based on his information, we will decide further course of action,” he told PTI.

Asked if a time frame has been laid down for Maria to give the information, the CM said he has been given a day’s time.

On whether Maria will be asked to step down temporarily until the inquiry against him is conducted, Fadnavis said, “First let the information come to us.”

A fresh controversy had broken out yesterday in the Lalit Modi episode after Maria admitted that he had met the tainted ex-IPL boss in London in 2014 on the insistence of the latter’s lawyer.

Maria came out with a statement on the issue after news channels flashed a photo of the former IPL commissioner and the Mumbai Police Chief.

During the meeting that lasted 15 to 20 minutes, Lalit Modi sought the help of Mumbai police in view of “threat” to his life by the underworld in London, Maria said, adding that he apprised the then Home Minister about the meeting soon after returning from London.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra’s Minister of State for Home Ranjit Patil said that repeated requests from Lalit Modi cannot be an “excuse” to meet him and an inquiry will be conducted into what “compelled” Maria to meet Modi.

“As far as what we know till now, on his repeated insistence, Maria met Lalit Modi in London. Now we will have to go through records and examine that what compelled Maria to meet him despite knowing there is so much criticism surrounding him. Insistence cannot be an excuse,” Patil said.

Asked if there could be a political reason behind Maria’s meet with Modi, since the Police Commissioner in his letter to the media stated that he had informed the then state Home Minister about his meet, Patil said, “It is on record that Maria informed the then Home Minister about his meet. May be the Home Minister got convinced of his reasons.

“The only ambiguity here is that if your conscience is clear, if it is not a part of your duty and if the code of conduct does not allow you to, you do not meet someone like Modi even if he is insisting you to meet. This is what needs to be examined,” the minister said.

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