Former Indian Premier League cricket boss Lalit Modi is back in the English courts, this time having been declared bankrupt.
Modi, who is awaiting the judgment from a libel trial in the High Court of London with former New Zealand cricketer Chris Cairns, has been declared bankrupt in a London court over unpaid bills of 65,000 pounds ($126,000) owed to a private security firm.
According to a report in The Telegraph newspaper today, the order was passed last month.
Modi owes the Page Group fees for services provided in 2010. Modi now lives in London and has permanent security due to threats made against him by mafia gangs in India and Pakistan.
Stuart Page, the company’s chairman, said: ”It’s unfortunate that we have come to this situation but Mr Modi has given us no other option. We gave Mr Modi a number of security services in relation to threats made against him and his family. We submitted a number of invoices which were not paid.
”[Our] attempts to reach a settlement with Mr Modi … were to no avail and we were forced to take the action we have taken.”
Modi will attempt to have the order set aside, the newspaper reported.
He said: ”Until the order was served I was completely unaware of any outstanding monies. I have not seen any previous demands but since it came to my attention, I’ve even offered to lodge the sum being claimed with the court pending clarity.
”But for some reason, that was refused, by the company concerned. It is a ridiculous waste of everyone’s time and I can only assume it is being done in an attempt to gain some sort of publicity at my expense.
”Any suggestion that this order means I am unable to pay is equally ridiculous.”
Modi is no stranger to courtrooms. Cairns sued him over a 2010 tweet that alleged the New Zealander had been barred from the IPL because of an involvement with match-fixing during his time in the rival Indian Cricket League.
Cairns’ case was that the allegation was ”wholly untrue” and a libel which would destroy what he had achieved in a 20-year career if uncorrected.
Modi spent the past two weeks in the High Court in London defending the libel action.
Justice David Bean heard from a string of witnesses over the course of eight days, and retired to consider his verdict last Friday. He is expected to hand down a written judgment by the end of the month, according to The Telegraph.
If the judge finds in favour of Cairns, a separate hearing will be held to determine the level of damages Modi will be ordered to pay.