Calcutta / New Delhi: As of Tuesday evening, the decks were cleared for Lalit Kumar Modi being slapped with a life ban by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday allowed the BCCI to hold its special general meeting (SGM) to consider the disciplinary committee’s report on former IPL Chairman and Commissioner Modi for alleged financial irregularities in the cricket league. Justice V K Shali set aside the trial court’s September 21 order restraining the BCCI from holding its SGM scheduled for Wednesday.
[Modi’s lawyers sought copy of the order on urgent basis. They said they received the copy only at 7.30 pm and was studying it with the aim of possibly moving the Supreme Court on Wednesday morning. If they want to move the Apex court, it will be done in the very first hour. The SGM is scheduled to start at 2pm in Chennai.]
Modi's lawyers said that they received the order at 7.30 pm and was studying it with the aim of possibly moving the Supreme Court on Wednesday morning. The SGM is scheduled for 2 pm.
“So far as appeal of the BCCI is concerned, it is allowed,” the court said. The High Court 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 and Jagmohan Dalmiya in the BCCI by N Srinivasan.
“Appeal of Lalit Modi is dismissed for the reasons that the relief claimed by him is the same relief which he had already claimed in the main suit before the trial court...it will tantamount to a decree passed by the High Court,” it said.
While rejecting Modi’s arguments questioning the appointment of Dalmiya and Patel, the court said Srinivasan continues to be the president of the BCCI and he is also vested with some power to appoint them as functionaries of the Board.
The BCCI had moved the Delhi High Court challenging the trial court’s order restraining it from holding its SGM contending the lower court had no jurisdiction to pass such an order as the SGM is scheduled to be held in Chennai.
On September 21, the trial court had in an ex-parte order restrained the BCCI from holding its SGM on Modi’s plea, challenging Patel’s authority as BCCI secretary in issuing the September 2 notices to him.
The SGM will consider the report of a three-member disciplinary committee comprising Arun Jaitley, Chirayu Amin and Jyotiraditya Scindia.
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.
The High Court, while allowing the BCCI to hold its SGM on Wednesday, said “the decision of SGM is subject to the decision of the suit pending before the trial court.”
While setting aside the trial court’s restraint order, the court said the lower court judge is seized of the previous litigation filed by the parties and it is not proper for him to pass the ex-parte order against holding the SGM.
The court also rejected the discrepancies pointed out by Modi’s counsel in respect of the appointment of Patel as secretary by Srinivasan, saying “it cannot be found fault with Patel’s appointment...”
Further, the court rejected the argument questioning the maintainability of BCCI’s appeal in the High Court saying, “In extraordinary circumstances, the appeal is maintainable.”