The Supreme Court today deferred till October 20 hearing of a plea by suspended IPL commissioner Lalit Modi seeking stay of an order of the Bombay High Court which dismissed his petition for reconstitution of a disciplinary committee.
A bench comprising justices J M Panchal and Gyan Sudha Misra said since the copy of the July 15 judgement of the high court was not available, it cannot pass any order and posted the matter for hearing on October 20. Modi approached the apex court challenging the July 15 judgement of the Bombay High Court, which dismissed his plea to stay the proceedings by a BCCI-appointed disciplinary committee probing allegations of financial irregularities against him.
Modi has sought removal of Arun Jaitley and Chirayu Amin from the three-member committee, which also has Jyotiraditya Scindya, contending that they are likely to be biased against him.
The committee is scheduled to examine one witness on Sunday. Senior Advocate Ram Jethamalani, appearing for Modi, asked the bench to stay the proceedings of the committee till the copy of the judgement is supplied to the parties.
"Heavens are not going to fall if they (committee) do not examine the second witness of Sunday. In the interest of justice, I request that they should not proceed," he submitted before the bench which refused to entertain his plea at this stage.
Jethmalani submitted that the disciplinary committee was biased and not independent. "We leave to this on the court to fix any committee. We are ready for any other committee. If they sit with us, we can amicably decide on it. We are ready for it," he said.
Jethmalani's submission was opposed by BCCI counsel and senior advocate C A Sundaram who said the committee has very limited power. "This committee can only make recommendation based on the materials and evidences. It cannot punish. Any action would be finally decided by the BCCI general body," he said, adding that there can not be separate rule for each individual.
Meanwhile, senior advocate Rohington Nariman appearing for the committee, said that Modi first raised questions against BCCI president, who recused himself and now he is against Jaitley and Amin from the committee. The Bombay High Court had dismissed the petition filed by Modi seeking reconstitution of the BCCI-appointed disciplinary committee. He had also challenged his suspension from the BCCI.
Modi had contended before the High Court that BCCI Secretary N Srinivasan had launched "persecution" against him on the basis of media reports and complaints made by rank outsiders and "meddlesome interlopers" who are neither members of the Board, nor administrators.