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Outraged Kochi directs fire at Modi
Tharoor at a cricket match in Delhi last month. File picture

Thiruvananthapuram, April 12: The consortium that bagged the Kochi IPL team has threatened legal action against Lalit Modi for “breach of trust” and “irresponsible behaviour”.

In a letter to BCCI president Shashank Manohar, Kochi IPL co-owner Vivek Venugopal has set three conditions after Modi tweeted the shareholding pattern in the consortium.

“On behalf of the consortium, I sincerely request you to immediately instruct Mr Modi to retract the statements made in the media as well on Twitter, reveal/ disclose similar information for all participating teams on his Twitter account, apologise for the communications given in the media.”

The threat of legal action is made specifically against Modi. “We, as a consortium are also contemplating to initiate legal action against Mr. Modi for this irresponsible behaviour, which brings disrepute to his office.”

The letter charged Modi with breach of trust “less than 24 hours” after the franchise agreement was signed with the BCCI.

“The commissioner of IPL, Mr Lalit Modi, himself signed the agreement on behalf of BCCI-IPL. I write this letter to you, on behalf of the consortium to request you to immediately look into a serious breach of trust that has occurred earlier today,” the letter said.

Venugopal cited a confidentiality clause. “I would like to specifically draw your attention to clause 19.1 (confidentiality clause) in the signed franchise agreement.”

According to the letter, Clause 19.1 concludes that “the parties shall at all times treat this agreement as being private and confidential and its contents shall not be used for any purpose (other than the proper performance of this agreement) or disclosed either directly or indirectly to any person.”

The clause cites two exceptions under which information can be made public: “with the prior written agreement of both parties: or as may be required by any statutory, regulatory or governmental or quasi-governmental authority, pursuant to the rules of any recognised stock exchange or as otherwise required by law”.

The letter added that “it is unfortunate to note that, Mr Lalit Modi himself, on his Twitter account has disclosed various vital aspects of the contract today evening. Information disclosed include shareholding pattern of the consortium as well as shareholding patterns of various participating consortium member companies.”

The letter pointed out that such information about other teams had not been made public. “Please note that Mr Modi has not disclosed such information for the other nine teams participating in the league. In addition, we have been seeing various remarks by Mr Modi in the media and on Twitter, questioning the capability and the intentions of this consortium.”

“We are shocked to see this unethical behaviour coming from the commissioner himself, even before 24 hours has come to pass after signing the agreement. As a consortium, we have abided by the terms and conditions of the bid document and franchise agreement in letter and spirit,” the letter added.

BCCI secretary N. Srinivasan said: “No comments. The franchise has been awarded, that’s all I can say. I don’t wish to go into details. As far as we are concerned. there is no dispute. Mr Lalit Modi has already made it clear.”

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