Chirayu Amin's appointment as interim chairman of the IPL governing council, after Lalit Modi’s suspension on Monday, did not come as a surprise. What was startling was the appointment of Ratnakar Shetty, the chief administrative officer of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), to look into the “missing documents”.
While announcing Shetty's additional responsibility, BCCI president, Shashank Manohar, said, “We have asked Prof. Shetty to look into all the records because many of the documents are missing from the office of the IPL and Board. Everyday the income tax department is asking for documents we don't have in our custody. Therefore, we have asked him to look into these aspects.”
Asked to elucidate on the curious case of the missing documents, Manohar gave an “example”. “The original document of the Sony broadcasting deal, we don’t have (it) in our possession. The income tax authorities are asking for it, but we can’'t supply it because we don’t have it. All the documents of the execution are with Lalit Modi.”
Hindustan Times later learnt that besides the “example” cited by Manohar, a lot of other documents are not at the BCCI or IPL office, both located in the same building.
Some of the most crucial documents, which are missing, include the ‘original’ bid documents of all the eight existing teams that were signed in 2008.
Though the BCCI submitted the “photocopies” of all the 10 bid documents, including that of two newly-added teams to the income tax department, it is still waiting for the original copies, allegedly in possession of Modi.
There is also no record of the unsuccessful bidders. “The bids that were valid but were unsuccessful on both occasions are missing altogether. There’s not even a set of photocopies at the IPL office,” an insider said on Monday.
“When the IPL COO, Sundar Raman, was asked about it, he said they are with Modi.”
When the bid documents are not at the BCCI office, it would be foolish to expect the various sponsorship deals signed by Modi to be in the Board's possession. And that is exactly the case.
Besides looking after the preparations for next year's World Cup, pressurising Raman and Modi to get hold of the missing documents will be Shetty's main task in the coming months.
The longevity of BCCI's probe into Modi's misdemeanours depends on Shetty's success in gaining access to these documents.