New Delhi: Hours before a BCCI special meet to consider a disciplinary panel report on Lalit Modi for alleged financial irregularities in the cricket league, the ex-IPL commissioner on Wednesday moved the Supreme Court for a stay of the meeting.
A bench headed by Justice G S Singhvi, before whom the matter was mentioned for urgent hearing, directed Modi to mention the case before the bench concerned at 2 PM.
Modi approached the apex court challenging the order of the Delhi high court which had on Tuesday allowed the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to hold the meeting.
The high court had vacated the stay granted by the trial court on the meeting.
BCCI had moved the high court challenging the trial court's September 21 order restraining it from holding its Special General Meeting (SGM), contending that the lower court had no jurisdiction to pass such an order as the meeting is scheduled to be held in Chennai.
The high court, while allowing BCCI to hold its meeting on Wednesday, had said, "The decision of SGM is subject to the decision of the suit pending before the trial court."
The high court had also dismissed Modi's cross-appeal against the decision of the lower court which had declined to pass an interim order on his petition challenging the appointment of Sanjay Patel as Secretary and Jagmohan Dalmiya as the interim chief of BCCI by N Srinivasan.
While rejecting Modi's arguments questioning the appointment of Dalmiya and Patel, the high court had said Srinivasan continues to be the President of BCCI and he is also vested with some power to appoint them as functionaries of the Board.
On September 21, the trial court had in an ex-parte order restrained BCCI from holding its SGM on Modi's plea challenging Patel's authority as BCCI Secretary in issuing the September 2 notices to him for considering the report of a three-member disciplinary committee comprising Arun Jaitley, Chirayu Amin and Jyotiraditya Scindia on September 25.
The trial court had also granted four days to BCCI, Patel and Dalmiya to file their response on Modi's plea and posted the matter for September 30.
While setting aside the trial court's restraint order, the high court had said the lower court judge is seized of the previous litigations filed by the parties and it is not proper for him to pass the ex-parte order against holding SGM on Wednesday.
The high court had rejected the discrepancies pointed out by Modi's counsel in respect of the appointment of Patel as Secretary by Srinivasan, saying that fault could not be found with Patel's appointment.
It had also rejected the argument questioning the maintainability of BCCI's appeal in the high court, saying "....In extraordinary circumstances, the appeal is maintainable."
In his cross-appeal, Modi had contended that the September 2 notice issued to him was without authority as Patel was not authorised and it was issued on the instructions of Srinivasan who, in the wake of IPL spot-fixing scam in which his son-in-law is an accused, had chosen not to perform the functions of BCCI President.
Modi was the IPL Chairman-cum-Commissioner during the first three editions of the tournament but was suspended immediately after the closing ceremony in 2010 on charges of financial irregularities in running the league as well as improper practices during the auction of two new teams before the third edition.
During the suspension, a three-member disciplinary committee, comprising Scindia and Jaitley along with president Srinivasan, was formed. But Srinivasan recused himself and the erstwhile IPL chairman Chirayu Amin was made a member.
Subsequently, Amin also recused himself and it became a two-member committee.
However by the time, Jaitley, who looked after the legal part, and Scindia, who looked into the charges of impropriety, submitted an exhaustive 400-page report, Srinivasan had stepped aside from discharging his functions as BCCI chief.