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HindustanTimes Fri,01 Aug 2014

Cricket

BCCI bans disgraced IPL founder Lalit Modi for life
Agencies
Chennai/New Delhi, September 25, 2013
First Published: 14:20 IST(25/9/2013)
Last Updated: 20:00 IST(25/9/2013)

Disgraced Indian Premier League founder Lalit Modi was Wednesday banned for life from holding any cricket post, three years after being thrown out of his own popular, but tainted, Twenty20 league.

The general body of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which met in Chennai, accepted the verdict of its disciplinary panel that found Modi guilty of "serious" acts of indiscipline and misconduct.

"The BCCI resolved that Lalit Modi is guilty of committing acts of serious misconduct and indiscipline, and therefore he is hereby expelled from the board," BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel said in a statement.

"He shall forfeit all his rights and privileges as administrator. He shall not in future be entitled to hold any position or office, or be admitted in any committee or any member or associate member of the BCCI."

The BCCI disciplinary committee, comprising Arun Jaitley and Jyotiraditya Scindia, submitted a 134-page report in July in which it had found Modi guilty on eight charges, including financial irregularities, indiscipline and "actions detrimental to the interest of the BCCI."

Modi was found guilty, among other things, of rigging bids during the franchise auction in 2010, selling media and internet rights without authorisation and secretly trying to create a rebel T20 league in England without the knowledge of the Indian and England boards.

The BCCI announced its decision soon after a last-ditch effort by Modi's lawyers to get the meeting put off was rejected by the Supreme Court earlier on Wednesday.

Modi, who now lives in self-exile in London, currently holds no post in the BCCI, having already been removed as IPL chairman and BCCI vice-president after the conclusion of the third edition of the tournament in 2010.

The 49-year-old scion of a business family, who is also being investigated by the government on corruption and money-laundering charges, has in the past denied all allegations against him.

"Not a single member in the meeting supported Modi and the House took a unanimous decision to impose a life ban," a top BCCI official said.

The life ban is unrelated to the spot-fixing and betting scandals currently swirling around the IPL which has led to players, book makers and others being charged over their alleged involvement.

Earlier in the day, his last hopes for staying the SGM were dashed when the Supreme Court refused to interfere in the matter and asked him to explain his position before the board members.

Delhi high court yesterday allowed BCCI to hold the Special General Meeting (SGM), forcing Modi to move the apex court.

"Anybody who has been issued notice should go and give explanation. You may be exonerated or be given lighter punishment. Anything can happen. You go in the meeting and give explanation," a bench of justice HL Gokhale and justice J Chelameshwar said.

"It (BCCI) is an internal management of society and we cannot keep interfering in it. It is a total matter of internal management," the bench said.

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Modi, contended the convening of meeting itself is illegal as it can be done only by the BCCI president and there is no president for the Board at the moment.

The bench, however, was not satisfied with his arguments and dismissed the plea.

"Just because big shot and big money are involved in the case, court should not interfere in the matter," the bench said.

All the 30 BCCI members attended the meeting, which is also expected to seal the return of Narayanaswami Srinivasan, the most powerful man in Indian cricket, as head of BCCI. Srinivasan had stepped aside from discharging his duties as BCCI president in the light of the spot-fixing and betting scandal allegedly involving his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, who was charge sheeted for cheating, criminal conspiracy and forgery a couple of days ago.


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