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Fadnavis to take a call on Maria report soon

Devendra Fadnavis

Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is expected to form a “final opinion” by this evening on the “information” furnished by Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria over his meeting with ex-IPL boss Lalit Modi in London last year when the Congress-NCP Government was in power.

“Rakesh Maria submitted the information sought by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to Additional Chief Secretary (Home) K P Bakshi last evening. He is now in the process of examining the report and he will give his final opinion to the CM by this evening,” a senior Home Department official told, requesting anonymity.

“This is an old case. Hence, time is required to study the issue in detail and analyse the information that Maria has submitted to Bakshi. He is taking his time because his decision will be very important for the government to take a decision on Maria’s fate,” the official said.

The official further said that aspects like ‘conduct rules broken’, confidentiality, breaking of the secrecy pact or if there were vested interests or favouritism were behind the meet, are being analysed by Bakshi.

“All these things need to be examined very carefully. Injustice cannot be done and therefore at least a day’s time is required before the Additional Chief Secretary can come to a final opinion. Based on Bakshi’s opinion, the CM may take a call within 1-2 days,” the official added.

Amid speculation about the government’s response to Maria’s information submitted on meeting with Lalit Modi in London, Maria met Fadnavis here last night.

Neither Maria nor the CM have so far commented on contents of Maria’s letter in response to Fadnavis’ directive to the Mumbai Police Chief on the Lalit Modi issue.

On Saturday, after a news channel aired a photo purportedly featuring Maria with Lalit Modi, the Mumbai Police Chief had issued a statement saying that he had indeed met the ex-IPL boss at the insistence of the latter’s lawyer in London last year.

During the meeting, 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 had apprised the then Home Minister (late R R Patil of NCP) about the meeting soon after return.

Fadnavis had on Sunday said that based on Maria’s information, further course of action would be decided.

Lalit Modi, who is facing probe by Enforcement Directorate, is in news following revelations that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj helped him get a travel document in London.

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