BCCI chief Shashank Manohar spoke after Monday's IPL General Council meeting, where the body had taken a decision to level specific charges against the suspended chairman Lalit Modi. Excerpts from his interaction with the media:
Charges against Modi
The news of 22 charges is misconception and a story that you are entitled to create. The charges basically are with regards to the initial bids of the Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab. The second allegation is with regard to the broadcasting deal. The third allegation concerns the bid rigging with the two new franchises. The fourth allegation is about the internet rights and the fifth is of the behavioural pattern of the soul.
There are allegations of taking facilitation fee. Now, the Board doesn't have any supporting document regarding this. Again, it is rumoured that there are benami funds in the Rajasthan Royals. If the funds are coming from Virgin Islands or from Mauritius, I don't have the machinery to investigate that. After the I-T and the ED sent us the notices, we came to know about that.
What triggered this move to suspend Mr Modi a day before the governing council meeting?
I never persuaded him to attend the meeting because it was his choice. I had only asked him to convene a meeting on April 19, which he didn't till April 21. Therefore, I called the secretary to ask him to convene the meeting. Thereafter, I had no discussions with him.
Sacking of staff
You don't sack staff only because there is something wrong which has happened. Today is the first day when we all have met. Give us some time to look into the issues. We will look into everybody's role now.
Issue over Rajasthan Royals
I can tell you the basic gist of the allegation. There was a company based in UK by the name Emerging Media Ltd. The company was owned by only an individual, Manoj Badale and was started about four months before the bid. The bid was given by this company and was accepted. However, the agreement is signed with Jaipur IPL. Now, there is an interesting fact to be noted. This Jaipur IPL had only two stakeholders, Mr (Fraser) Castellino and Mr Bal Thakur, at the time of the signing of agreement. Now, the bid is given by A and the document is signed by B who had nothing to do with the bid. Then, separate companies have come in who are registered in Mauritius. Now, we don’t know Mr Modi made a statement that the entire world knows who are the ones involved. But even the members of the governing council were not aware. The reason being that in the Rajasthan Royals franchise, as I said, Jaipur IPL is the company; their shares are then sold and transferred to these two persons.
I did not find in the shareholders' register the name of Mr Raj Kundra and Shilpa Shetty who claim to be the stakeholders. And there is a clause in the agreement, which is entered into by all the franchises that in case you transfer your shares, the transfer has to be made with a permission of the IPL and the board is entitled to have five per cent of the amount of the transaction as their fee. None of this happened. So we are asking for an explanation that if he gives bid how do you sign an agreement with B. How do all these people get into this? None of us are aware and we don't know who these companies are.
Kings XI Punjab
When the bid was given, it was signed by Preity Zinta. She said she would form a consortium with three other people --- Mohit Burman, one Mr Paul and there was one other name. But when they formed a company, the document was signed by Preity Zinta. Though on that day Preity Zinta did not have a single share in the company. The shares were transferred to her after signing of the agreement. And then Gaurav Burman gets in and all these things. And again the same logic would apply that you would have to have the consent of the IPL and five percent fee. There was nothing.
On any political pressure
I don't think there is any political pressure.I can assure you as far as I am concerned there is no political pressure.
What about the behavioural pattern of the IPL CEO? He misbehaved with Mr Sunil Walson... Shouldn't there be a code of conduct for people working under Modi?
They behave like they are superiors (laughs)