Mumbai:Lalit Modi has hit back at the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), accusing it of "clear bias" in rejecting his explanations to its three show-cause notices.
Modi's lawyer sent out a Press statement a day after the Board circulated its proceedings on the suspended IPL Commissioner's replies to its notices. In strong words, the statement has singled out Board Secretary N Srinivasan for criticism. At the core is Modi's demand that "all interested parties not be associated with any proceeding concerning his show cause notices."
While BCCI President Shashank Manohar has rescued from the three-man disciplinary committee, Modi's statement says Srinivasan's continued involvement "infects the process of justice."
Srinivasan has recommended that the disciplinary committee take further action against Modi, who has already been suspended from all BCCI and IPL posts. Lalit Modi's statement points out that he had raised "serious issues about the Secretary BCCI's fairness and bias against him" and so Srinivasan should not have been the one deciding on whether sufficient cause existed to refer the matter to the disciplinary committee.
"Under the BCCI rules, Secretary can issue show cause as well as take further action on reply to the show cause only upon consultation with the President. While, the President BCCI, being an eminent lawyer had the grace to recues himself from the matter, how could the Secretary BCCI decide to refer the matter to the disciplinary committee on his own and seek post facto approval of his decision by way of ratification by the General Body?" the statement says.
The special general meeting called by the BCCI on July 3, says the statement, and is a "cover up for inherent illegality committed by Secretary BCCI." All state associations will attend the meeting and there is much speculation that Modi's removal may be voted upon.
It signs off with, "Best of luck to the Khap Panchayat of BCCI." And that is the leitmotif of Modi's attack. That he has not been given a fair trial.
In a letter to Srinivasan, Manohar had made the point that, "Though I need not rescue myself from the Committee, in order to give a fair opportunity during enquiry to Mr Modi and to remove any doubt of bias from the mind of Mr Modi, I am withdrawing myself as a member of the Disciplinary Committee which is to hold an enquiry with regard to the charges against Mr Modi."
That "doubt of bias" however, is far from gone and Modi terms the BCCI's stand on his replies as, "the subjective dissatisfaction of Secretary BCCI," and adds that it "surpasses every yardstick of fair play and blatantly violates the principles of natural justice."
The Board's rejection:
On Wednesday, the BCCI had rejected Modi's explanations on all charges against him. Modi was served with three show-cause notices and suspended from all positions in the BCCI, including as Chairman and Commissioner of the Indian Premier League, after this year's IPL final.
Through the first notice, he was accused of financial irregularities in the conduct of the league as well as of rigging bids for franchisees. A second show-cause notice, based on an email from England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Giles Clarke, accused him of trying to destroy the structure of world and Indian cricket and the third related to alleged irregularities in the awarding of theatrical rights and commercial slots during the telecast of IPL 3 matches. Modi sent a 15000-page reply to the first and fairly long replies to the other two.
But the BCCI is not accepting his lengthy explanations and says they warrant a more detailed inquiry. There is no explanation, for instance, on why Modi made the shareholding pattern of the new Kochi IPL franchise public, the board says.
Conversely, it has also said it may take action against the Kochi franchise if Modi's allegations against them are found true.
The BCCI says Lalit Modi inserted clauses during the bidding process for the two new IPL teams that kept away many interested parties. These clauses, it says, were inserted without the knowledge or approval of the board.
Dissatisfied with Modi's reply, the BCCI will also initiate further inquiry into the IPL TV rights deal.