Decks cleared for Modi ban

N Srinivasan and close ally Arun Jaitley have made sure Lalit Modi’s career as a cricket administrator is all but over.

New Delhi: The stage is set for the BCCI to punish former IPL chairman and commissioner Lalit Modi for his alleged “individual misdemeanours” — read financial irregularities — in the cash-rich cricket tournament.

The general feeling is that Modi would on Wednesday be barred for life from holding any position in the Board. On Tuesday, the Delhi High Court cleared the path for the BCCI to hold its special general meeting (SGM) on Wednesday to take up the report of a special disciplinary committee that probed Modi’s alleged transgressions between 2008 and 2010, the period in which he was the IPL chief.

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The court of Justice VK Shali, on an appeal by the BCCI, vacated a lower court’s ex-parte order staying the SGM that is scheduled to be held in Chennai, the home city of BCCI president N Srinivasan, who is expected to chair the meeting.

“Modi’s appeal has been dismissed and the stay on the SGM has been vacated. The court said that Srinivasan was the BCCI president and he is still the president. It also ruled that secretary Sanjay Patel was properly elected,” a BCCI counsel told Mail Today.

The court said the trial court judge was seized of the previous litigations filed by the parties and, hence, it was not proper for the judge to pass the ex-parte order against holding the special general meeting.

“The relief claimed by Lalit Modi is the same relief which he had already claimed in the main suit before the trial court. It will tantamount to a decree passed by the High Court,” the judge said.

However, the Modi camp is set to challenge the Delhi High Court ruling in the Supreme Court on Wednesday morning, just hours before the meeting, which is scheduled to begin at 2.30 pm.

“We haven’t got the order as yet. But we are going to Supreme Court, after reading the order. We will fight to the finish,” Mehmood M Abdi, constituted attorney of Modi, said.

Modi, 49, who has been living in London since mid-2010 after being suspended in April that year, said he would continue to fight, whether or not he is banned on Wednesday.

“My ban or no ban is least if [of] my concerns. More concerned about faith of cricket,” Modi tweeted. “So my efforts will continue to go after all those who harm cricket and continue the good fight I say to fans of the game.”

In India, BCCI officials from various parts of the country were already on their way to Chennai and those who have to change flights had already reached midway by Tuesday evening. The special disciplinary committee, comprising Arun Jaitley, Chirayu Amin and Jyotiraditya Scindia, started hearing in July 2010 and conducted it for over two years, during which about 80 sittings were held.

The committee recently submitted a 134-page report to the BCCI. The Board then sent it to all member associations along with the notice for the SGM. Modi was suspended under Rule 32 (iv) of the Board’s constitution on April 25, 2010, seconds after the IPL final held in Mumbai.

The Board then slapped three show cause notices on him. He replied to all of them, but also moved various courts periodically. Modi’s latest attempt to stop the BCCI from taking a decision on the disciplinary committee’s report came on September 19, when he moved the Patiala House court, praying for a stay on the SGM. He contended that the issuance of the notice was “illegal” as Sanjay Patel was appointed interim secretary "contrary to the BCCI rules and regulations”.

Justice Shali observed on Tuesday that Srinivasan was the real Board president. “The plea that the notice dated 2.9.2013 issued by Mr Sanjay Patel was not a valid notice as it did not clarify as to under whose authority (as to whether it was issued under the authority of Mr Srinivasan or Mr Jagmohan Dalmiya was not clear) was rejected by the court. The court has taken the view that Mr Srinivasan continued to be the president of the BCCI and Jagmoham Dalmiya was only appointed as a person to look after the day to day functioning of the BCCI,” he said in the order.

“The statement of the BCCI that Mr Srinivasan will dissociate himself with the day to day functioning of the BCCI on account of certain reasons in order to impart impartiality to the functioning of the inquiry commission does not mean that he had abdicated his post of president of BCCI.

Any expression of opinion in these matters shall not be deemed to be an expression on the merits of the case.” The two parties — BCCI and Modi — will now appear before the trial court on September 30 in the original case.


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