Lalit Modi, the suspended chairman of the Indian Premier League (IPL), may be preparing to strike back at the bigwigs of the league's governing council (GC) with his own chargesheet after finalising his reply to the notice served by the Indian cricket board.
Modi's legal team has worked overtime to prepare a lengthy chargesheet against the high-profile GC members, but it is not clear when he will serve it as he is keeping his cards close to his chest on the eve of submitting his reply to the board, sources close to him said.
Modi has been given time till Saturday to reply to the chargesheet served on him April 26. But Modi may not personally hand over the reply unless Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) chief Shashank Manohar or secretary N Srinivasan are present to receive it at Cricket Centre, the board's headquarters at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium.
Modi was to submit his reply on Monday, but sought a five-day extension and Manohar acceded.
"Modi has incriminating documents to file his own chargesheet against some GC members, but he is yet to decide whether he should incorporate his counter-charges in his reply or file them as a separate annexure. He also has to decide whether he should submit both the documents on Saturday or only the reply to showcause," a member of his legal team told IANS, speaking on condition of anonymity.
He said while rebutting the board's charges with documentary evidence, Modi will try to prove that a couple of GC members are, in fact, guilty of what they are accusing him of.
"The charges against Modi may not hold water in a court of law whereas his countercharges are of a more serious nature," the legal brain revealed.
"Modi is also in a dilemma whether to mark his reply only to Srinivasan or to all GC members since Manohar had not only read them out at the GC meeting on April 26, but also divulged the contents to the Working Committee on May 2 when the issue was not even on the agenda," he said.
After Srinivasan's assurance that he could base his reply on only the material that had been sent him, Modi's burden has eased as he is left with only a couple of charges to answer.
After forcing the Board to concede by inference that he need not reply to unsubstantiated allegations, media reports, "fictitious" sources and "privileged and confidential" information, Modi is left to answer the complaints of Nimbus, the holders of the Board's broadcast rights, questions relating to the Kochi franchise and his alleged stakeholding in three IPL teams.
The Nimbus complaint, that its rights also cover the Internet rights, is three years old and the contention was rejected by the Board, while Kochi's charge was that Modi tried to discourage it from bidding saying that "a consortium of too many people would not be able to manage the show." As for his IPL franchise stakes, he will have to prove that he has indeed no financial involvement in the three teams.