Relief to Lalit Modi, court restrains BCCI from holding Special General Meeting

Last Updated: Sat, Sep 21, 2013 15:23 hrs

New Delhi: A Delhi court on Saturday restrained the BCCI from holding its Special General Meeting (SGM) on September 25 to consider the report of the disciplinary committee on former IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi for alleged financial irregularities in running of the cricket league.

The ex-parte order was passed on the plea of Modi challenging Sanjay Patel's authority as BCCI Secretary in issuing the September two notice to him for considering the report of the three-member disciplinary committee comprising Arun Jaitley, Chirayu Amin and Jyotiraditya Scindia on September 25.

"The plaintiff (Modi) has prima facie shown the notice of the SGM has been issued without appropriate authority. He has also shown that he shall suffer irreparable loss which cannot be compensated in terms of money by the report of the disciplinary committee being considered in an unauthorised meeting.

"The balance of convenience thus lies in the favour of the plaintiff (Modi). The defendants (BCCI, its office-bearers and members of disciplinary committee) are thus hereby restrained from holding the SGM scheduled for September 25," Additional District Judge Ruby Alka Gupta said.

The court granted four days to BCCI, Patel, Jagmohan Dalmiya, who is functioning as the interim chief of the cricket board in place of N Srinivasan to file a response on Modi's plea and posted the matter for September 30.

Modi's counsel contended the September two 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, has chosen not to perform the function of the President of BCCI.

"The said notice is thus stated to be illegal, non-est and contrary to the rules and regulations of BCCI," the application said.

While allowing only the plea for staying the SGM, the court did not go into the other issues raised by Modi.

"As regards the other prayers in the application, there is no immediate injury liable to be suffered by the plaintiff (Modi). No ex-parte orders are called for in this regard," the judge said, adding that nothing in the order shall be tantamount to an expression of any opinion on the merits of the case.
Modi has also sought to declare as illegal and contrary to BCCI rules and regulations the June 2 and 10 decisions of the Board appointing and ratifying the appointment of Jagmohan Dalmiya to look after day-to-day affairs of the Board and Patel to work as secretary.

He has also challenged the agenda notice of September two for the SGM and for restraining Dalmiya, Patel and Srinivasan from discharging any functions of the board. Modi moved the present application in the pending lawsuit filed by him in which he sought a declaration from the court that the committee is "biased" against him and has not conducted the proceedings so far in a "fair and transparent" manner.

A senior BCCI official had on September two informed that the contents of the exhaustive report filed by disciplinary committee was discussed at the Board's Working Committee meeting held in Kolkata on September one.

"The committee's report has suggested imposing a life ban on Lalit Modi. To decide on his fate, a special general body meeting has been summoned in Chennai on September 25 to decide on the issue. As of now, the life ban looks imminent," the official had told PTI.

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 auction of two new teams before the third edition.

During the suspension, a three-member disciplinary committee, comprising political heavyweights Jyotiraditya Scindia and Arun Jaitley along with president Srinivasan, was formed. But Srinivasan recused himself and the erstwhile IPL chairman Chirayu Amin was made a member. But 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 impropreity, submitted an exhaustive 400-page report, Srinivasan had stepped aside from discharging his functions.

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