Raising the ante against N Srinivasan, suspended IPL chairman Lalit Modi has asked for the BCCI secretary's recusal from the proceedings against him and demanded that the issue of his suspension be placed before the general body of the Cricket Board.
Terming Srinivasan's decision to call a Special General Meeting on July 3 as illegal and unconstitutional, Modi, in a letter to the Board secretary yesterday, a copy of which was also sent to BCCI president Shashank Manohar, has given a 48-hour deadline to the Board to put his suspension before the general body for approval.
Modi said that while Manohar acceded to Srinivasan's request and recused himself from the disciplinary committee, the BCCI secretary himself did not take any cognizance of a similar demand not to take part in any proceedings as he (Srinivasan) was biased and had a personal animus against him.
Modi has been served show-cause notices charging him with irregularities in the conduct of IPL and of trying to float a parallel T20 League in England, based on an email to this effect from England and Wales Cricket Board's chief Giles Clarke.
"I refer to my replies to the three Show Cause Notices issued to me by the BCCI. In these replies, whilst responding to the allegations made against me, I had particularly asserted that, for the reasons set out therein, you should totally exclude yourself from participating further, in any manner whatsoever, in the said proceedings," Modi has written to Srinivasan.
"I had specifically stated that (i) you were biased; (ii) you had a personal animus against me; and (iii) your continued participation, in these proceedings, would tantamount to your being a judge in your own cause and totally denude these proceedings of any credibility. I had therefore requested that all further decisions, including whether, in light of my replies, the matter should be closed at this stage itself, be determined by person(s) who were totally independent and impartial."
Charging Srinivasan of not responding to these letters, Modi said it was through newspaper reports that he came to know that the Board had convened an SGM to ratify Srinivasan's decisions.
"I did not receive any response from you. A number of newspapers however, carried reports stating that you had convened a Special General Meeting of the BCCI on 3rd July, 2010, inter-alia, to ratify your decision to refer the allegations in the Show Cause Notice issued by the BCCI to a Disciplinary Committee. These reports also stated that the Honorary President, in response to my request that he may consider recusing himself, had in fact done so.
"Till close today I have not received any communication or intimation from you or the BCCI," Modi wrote.
"A short while ago, I was able to obtain, from the press, a document dated 19th June, 2010, entitled 'Proceedings of the Hon Secretary, BCCI on replies by Mr Lalit K Modi to Show Cause Notices issued by the BCCI on 26th April, 2010, 6th May, 2010 and 31st May 2010'. It is unfortunate that, though this document dealt solely with my replies, a copy of this was not forwarded to me," the suspended IPL chief said.
"I wish to make it absolutely clear that I do not accept the legality of any of your suggestions, findings or recommendations. The decision contained in the said document appears to be your private decision and is not an institutional decision of or on behalf of, the Board. Any reference, by you, to the Board, of your private decision is and will be, wholly un-constitutional, illegal and null and void ab-initio.
"Despite the existence of overwhelming material (including that placed on record by me) which would have impelled any fair minded person to immediately dissociate himself with these proceedings, you have continued to participate therein.
"I dare say that what is even more disturbing is that despite the Honorary President having rescued himself, you have chosen to decide the matter. Please confirm under which provision of the BCCI constitution, you have done so.
"It has now become absolutely clear that the apprehensions expressed by me in my Replies, have been proved correct. Knowing your past conduct, the recommendations made by you to the General Body, are bound to be biased," Modi said in his letter to Srinivasan.
The suspended IPL chairman also accused the Board secretary of acting against him "out of malice" and that if at all any inquiry needs to be conducted, it should be done against Srinivasan and not against him (Modi).
"It has also become absolutely clear that as far as you are concerned you are acting out of malice. Further, it is obvious that if any inquiry is warranted, it should be into your conduct rather than into the meaningless trumped up allegations levelled in the Show Cause Notice, and to safeguard your position you have taken this ridiculous step of giving your decision as it were, which is a mockery not only of the BCCI constitution but also of the rule of law," Modi said.
Modi also charged Srinivasan of not circulating his replies to the general body for the latter to decide whether they were satisfactory or not and reiterated he was willing to face an inquiry by "an appropriate person or panel".
"In my letters and replies I had suggested that you circulate my replies to the General Body and let them decide on whether my explanation/replies were satisfactory or not. Instead, in an unfortunate attempt to pre-empt this, you have chosen to do so yourself. In doing so, you have violated all norms of natural justice and fairness.
"I regret to have to observe that your actions have completely deprived these proceedings of even a semblance of credibility. The fact that the Secretary of the BCCI has, in a manner involving such immense public scrutiny and interest as the present, chosen to act in such a fashion, threatens to potentially undermine the fair name of the BCCI itself," Modi wrote in the letter.
"I once again reiterate that without prejudice to my rights and contentions, I am willing to face an inquiry by an appropriate person or panel. Such person or panel may determine whether my replies and explanation are satisfactory and/or whether the proceedings ought to be closed at this stage itself.
"I am advised that your decision is illegal, null and void and non-est. I am also advised that your desperate attempt at seeking the ratification of your illegal actions, by the General Body, are also illegal, bad in law, null and void and non-est. This also reflects the complete disregard you have for the General Body."
Modi also demanded that the general body be duly informed that Srinivasan's "so called decisions" are his private view in the matter, and it is for them to decide the way forward.