The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is reportedly building a case against IPL Chairman Lalit Modi for allegedly “misusing his authority to benefit relatives and for personal gain”, according to a Board source.
An internal inquiry has reportedly found Modi did away with the tender process to award long-term Internet, video and mobile rights to a Vancouver-based company called Live Current Media (LCM), which subsequently transferred these rights, through a complex web of trans-continental transactions, to a company controlled by Modi’s step son-in-law Gaurav Burman.
The inquiry, initiated four months ago (i.e., before the current controversy broke), has traced a trail of deals involving companies in Vancouver, Singapore, Dubai and Mauritius through which this was achieved.
It has apparently found how, barely a month after bagging the rights to iplt20.com and bcci.tv on April 17, 2008 (a day before IPL I began), LCM signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Netlinkblue, a Dubai-based tech firm with the
rights to mobile, Internet and live streaming of IPL games. The companies agreed to merge the two deals.
Netlinkblue was also signed on as an official sponsor of KXIP in April 2009. Burman's brother Mohit is co-owner of KXIP.
BCCI sources vehemently denied this inquiry was a way of distancing its brass from the controversies plaguing IPL. They pointed to the chain of transactions that “could not obviously have been uncovered in a week”.
In August 2008, the inquiry found, LCM set up a subsidiary in Singapore, called LCM Cricket Ventures, which became a shareholder in the Netlinkblue-promoted Global Cricket Ventures (GCV) Singapore. Thereafter, LCM assigned its rights to this company in terms of the MoU it had signed with Netlinkblue.
A year later, GCV Singapore gave up its BCCI/IPL rights to a company called Global Cricket Ventures, Mauritius. The following week, LCM exited from GCV Singapore, leaving Netlinkblue as its only shareholder. Then, in November 2009, Elephant Capital, which according to its own press release, is managed by Gaurav Burman, acquired a 50 per cent in GCV Mauritius.
Thus, the inquiry says, Modi's son-in-law became a BCCI/IPL licensee.
According to sources, Modi did not apply for permission from the BCCI for the same.