New Delhi: Lalit Modi, on Thursday, said he was not given enough time to defend himself by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) disciplinary committee, which probed into the charges of alleged financial irregularities committed by him during his tenure as the Indian Premier League (IPL) commissioner.
“The hearings started on September 26, 2010 and for 20 months, the BCCI put forth their witnesses and statements recorded. My defence began only on March 3, 2013 and abruptly ended on April 22, 2013,” Modi told a news channel from London. “They presented their witnesses for 20 months and I was not allowed to do the same. They could have given me another two weeks’ time,” he added.
Modi, who was reportedly charged on 11 counts, even went to the extent of saying that he was not allowed to present his defence personally.
“They did not give me time to come down myself. They said they will not take further submissions,” he said.
The BCCI is likely to impose a life ban on him at a special general meeting, set to be convened in Chennai, on September 25.
The disciplinary committee, comprising Jyotiraditya Scindia, Arun Jaitley and Chirayu Amin, has filed an exhaustive report to the BCCI after the probe.
Modi defended himself on various charges levelled against him. Asked about the alleged rigging of bids at the auction, Modi said: “I did not do anything like that... What I did was to ask the bidders if they have enough bank guarantee and that I did to safeguard the interest of the BCCI. That was not to benefit me.
“What I incorporated was not done by me alone. Those were approved by BCCI lawyers,” he said.
On the charge that he tried to arm-twist the Kochi franchise, he said: “What I told Kochi was that they have to survive. They don’t have a stadium and I said they should not be thinking that we (the BCCI) will shift the IPL matches to Ahmedabad for them.”
Modi also said he did not have any interest in the Rajasthan Royals franchise and he was not a ‘shadow’ of the owners. On the charge that he benefited from the facilitation fee on media rights, he said: “I have been framed. I did not get any benefit from that.”