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‘Not possible to set up another disciplinary panel’

cricket Updated: Oct 21, 2010 00:25 IST
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The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought to know from the BCCI if it was possible to reconstitute the disciplinary committee, which was inquiring charges of financial irregularities against suspended IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi.

“Can you reconstitute a disciplinary committee?” a bench of Justice JM Panchal and Justice Gyan Sudha Mishra asked senior counsel CA Sundaram, who represented the BCCI. The SC is hearing Modi's petition against the July 15 verdict of the Bombay High Court dismissing his plea to stay the BCCI-appointed disciplinary committee's proceedings.

The bench said a technical flaw appeared to have crept into the constitution of the committee in view of the requirement under BCCI rules that the president necessarily had to be its member. BCCI president Shashank Manohar had recused himself from the committee following Modi's objection that the BCCI chief could be biased against him.

But the BCCI told the court that it was not possible to reconstitute the disciplinary committee. “It is not possible. The inquiry is at an advanced stage. Many witnesses from abroad have already been examined,” Sundaram told the bench on behalf of the BCCI.

Earlier, senior counsel Ram Jethmalani told the bench on behalf of Modi that there was a reasonable apprehension that the present committee would be biased against him and he would not get a fair deal.

Jethmalani said people who participated in the decision to issue show cause notices to Modi should not be a part of the disciplinary committee. “Give me an unbiased committee,” he added.

Jethmalani wanted the court to direct the BCCI to appoint a retired judge of the SC or any high court or a senior advocate as a member of the disciplinary committee.

But the BCCI ruled out the possibility of having any outside person to change the composition of the present committee comprising Arun Jaitley, Chirayu Amin and Jyotiraditya Scindia. “It is just a fact-finding body,” Sundaram said.