Suspended Indian Premier League chairman Lalit Modi is closer to being expelled from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) after a special general meeting of the Board unanimously ratified all charges against him. The meeting also appointed Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia as the third member of the disciplinary committee that will take the issue forward.
Scindia, president of the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association and a sitting Congress MP from Gwalior, was thought to be the ideal replacement for BCCI president Shashank Manohar, who had recused himself after being accused of harbouring a bias against Modi.
“We both thought Mr Scindia would be the best person to be in the committee because he is not associated with the day-to-day functioning of the Board,” Manohar said.
The meeting also authorised Manohar to initiate civil and criminal proceedings against Modi. “The house, after deliberation and debate, resolved that the Board president has the right to start any legal proceedings, including civil and criminal, against Mr Modi,” said Manohar. “The civil and criminal matters will be decided after inquiry and it’s for the disciplinary committee to decide.”
Manohar cited an example of the kind of irregularities that occurred. “There were certain rights given to parties without contracts, like ticketing rights of the finals and third-place match given to a company called ‘Ticket Genie’. There was no contract to show how many tickets were printed and how many were sold.”
The disciplinary committee also includes BJP leader and Delhi & Districts Cricket Association chief Arun Jaitley and Gujarat’s Chirayu Amin, who is also IPL interim chief.
The meeting went along expected lines with Manohar doing most of the talking. While the Jammu & Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh representatives brought up the topic of legal proceedings, most of the representatives remained silent.
“It appeared as if all the decisions were taken by the brass, so there was no point in deliberating over them,” said a state association representative who attended the meeting. “That doesn’t mean the BCCI is being unreasonable to Lalit. Most of the charges are so serious that you just can’t ignore them.”