Lalit Modi has issued a "point-by-point rebuttal" of the charges, which he called "allegations", that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has levelled against him in its 134-page Disciplinary Committee report.
The committee, comprising Arun Jaitley, Chirayu Amin and Jyotiraditya Scindia, has, reportedly, found Modi guilty on eight different charges of "indiscipline and misconduct" relating to financial and administrative matters of the Indian Premier League (IPL). The findings of the report are likely to be discussed at the Special General Meeting of the BCCI on September 25 where, it has been speculated, Modi will be slapped with a life ban from the BCCI.
Writing on his blog, Modi said, "I am a bad enemy to make, because I am a winner. You don't want to take such extreme steps with me; rather, you want to negotiate with me, because you need to be able to walk away.
"Do I care about a life ban? Really couldn't care less, as they can't ever take away what I created (the IPL). They can destroy it. But I will keep at them for sure."
Blaming the Disciplinary Committee of being biased against him, Modi wrote: "The committee indicted me on all grounds on which they could lay even fanciful claim. On allegations where their wildest fancies found no basis to hold me guilty, they grudgingly exonerated me."
Mentioning that Jaitley was a "complainant to the BCCI on behalf of the Kochi franchise", Modi provided minutes of an IPL Governing Council meeting on June 25, 2010 in an attempt to prove that Jaitley has a conflict of interest when it comes to the issue of the Kochi team being suspended from the IPL. "When you have complainant himself sitting as a judge, what justice and fairness do you expect?" asked Modi.
Modi also alleged that he was not given a fair opportunity to fight his case, saying that while BCCI's "witnesses" were examined over 20 months, "my defence was hurriedly concluded" in 49 days. He also claimed that the witnesses he wanted to examine were "not summoned" and IS Bindra, the former BCCI president who Modi felt wanted to paint a fair picture of the situation, "was dissuaded from attending on the ground that appearing for me would tantamount to appearing against BCCI".
"Even my witness statement (sent on April 22, 2013) was not taken on record. The committee held that I had not produced any evidence. Even no time was granted to my lawyers to argue the case. For 11 allegations levelled against me ... the total time given to argue was three hours, i.e. 16 minutes per allegation, and my lawyers could only argue first three allegations in the allotted time."
Repeating a number of things he has said in the past, including N Srinivasan's supposed conflict of interest in being the owner of Chennai Super Kings while being BCCI president, Modi claimed that he "had no proxy stake in any of the franchises" he was accused of being close to - Rajasthan Royals, Kings XI Punjab and Kolkata Knight Riders.
Among the charges the BCCI had made against Modi was that he had inserted two conditions - bidder to have net worth of US$ 1 billion and provide bank guarantee of full bid amount - in the tender document issued in 2010 for two new franchisees, which were stated to be onerous.
"These conditions were inserted after specific approval of Shashank Manohar, the then BCCI president ... that Kochi defaulted in paying even the bank guarantee and even Sahara has said no to further participation in IPL shows that only cash-rich entities could have had the stomach to sustain the initial losses and could have continued in long term," said Modi.
Modi also countered the charge that he had received multi-million dollar kickbacks over the sale of media rights. "These were not proved," he said. "The fact was that WSG was the original successful bidder and had, in an open and transparent bid, won the IPL media rights for ten years on a global basis. Through a series of events described succinctly in a press note issued by Sony on April 23, 2010, WSG relinquished the Indian subcontinent rights in favour of Sony. Sony in turn agreed to pay WSG Rs 425 crore over a period of nine years as facilitation fee. I had nothing to do with the said transaction between two multi national companies."
Modi alleged that after failing to prove his guilt, the committee "dropping the original charges, reframed entirely different charges" against him. Also, he claimed, everything that transpired on the issue was "approved by the governing council of the IPL". Quoting the Bombay High Court order dated February 23, 2011, Modi said "there was no prima facie basis to allege any fraud".
"The evidences now available show that N Srinivasan blackmailed Sony to terminate their agreement with WSG," wrote Modi. "Minutes (of Sony's meeting with Srinivasan) show that Srinivasan and key executives of Sony reached a collusive agreement to misrepresent facts, make false documents and create false evidence."
As a result of the "agreement" between Sony and Srinivasan, Modi said, BCCI gave up or lost the following:
a) Around Rs 1120 crore on 150 Seconds advertising inserts by BCCI on global feed value for IPL Season 4 to 10
b) Rs 455 crore on reduction in number of games to help Sony pay less to BCCI and peg up rates of ads
c) Rs 455 crore on account of termination of deal with Colors, the entertainment channel
d) Potential damages if WSG litigation/arbitration is decided against BCCI
"The disciplinary committee report is a sham," concluded Modi. "It is the result of a mentality to hold me guilty even if there is no evidence and even if it means giving reasons that defy logic and common sense. It is a reflection more on the working of the committee rather than a reflection on my working in the IPL."