New Delhi: The Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) on Monday said ex-IPL commissioner Lalit Modi will emerge as the winner in Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) polls, but successfully opposed opening of a sealed envelope containing the results before the Supreme Court.
“We know the result he (Modi) is a clear winner. He has 26 out of 33 votes,” the BCCI and rivals of Modi in RCA conceded before a Bench comprising Justices AR Dave and JS Kehar which deferred the next hearing on the issue to March 4.
The Bench, which was about to open the sealed envelope, could not proceed further as BCCI and Modi’s opponent for the post of RCA president RP Sharma vehemently opposed declaration of results for 21 posts saying it will have a far-reaching impact on cricket administration and players.
While a battery of lawyers from both sides were making submissions in high pitch and trading charges against BCCI president N Srinivasan and Modi, the Bench said at least a person who has played cricket up to Ranji Trophy level should be an office-bearer.
Realising that the entire controversy over the RCA polls was turning out to be a battle between Srinivasan and Modi, the Bench decided to adjourn the hearing.
BCCI’s counsel CA Sundaram and senior advocate Haren Raval, appearing for Sharma, submitted that Modi, who has been banned for life by the Board could not have contested the RCA polls and claimed he has fled to London and is accused of swindling $80 million.
This submission was opposed by Modi’s counsel Harish Salve, who alleged that Srinivasan is at the helm of affairs in the BCCI despite his son-in-law facing a criminal case in connection with IPL spot-fixing.
The Bench wanted to proceed with the opening of the sealed envelope on the grounds that if Modi loses the election, nothing else will matter.
However, Modi’s rivals said they are aware that he is going to be a clear winner and if he is allowed to take charge as president of the RCA, it will have far reaching consequences.
They said since Modi is already banned by BCCI from holding any position, his taking over as RCA chief would debar the state cricket association and will also restrict players affiliated to it from being part of the Indian team.
Further, it was argued that the observer to the election has not correctly interpreted the apex court order by changing the schedule of the polls which allowed Modi to file his nomination paper through a power of attorney.
Interestingly, the issue was raised before it was called for hearing as the Bench was seized of another dispute emanating from state cricket.
The controversial December 19 election saw Modi contesting despite being banned by the BCCI for life. Challenging the election, the BCCI pleaded that Modi should not have been allowed to contest the election and submitted that if he emerges victorious, he should not be declared elected without hearing its objections.
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