Calcutta/Chennai: Former IPL commissioner and chairman Lalit Kumar Modi was slapped with a life ban by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Wednesday after its disciplinary committee found him guilty on eight charges of “indiscipline and misconduct”.
With the backdrop of a legal tug of war between Modi and the Board, the decision to ban the 49-year-old for life was taken unanimously and in just half-an-hour at a special general meeting, held in Chennai.
Wednesday’s meeting could take place only after the Delhi High Court vacated a lower court stay order.
According to the BCCI statement, Modi has been “expelled” from the Board for “acts of serious misconduct and indiscipline”.
The BCCI disciplinary committee submitted a 134-page report in which it had found Modi guilty on eight charges, including financial irregularities, indiscipline and “actions detrimental to the interest of the BCCI.”
The committee found Modi guilty of rigging bids during the franchise auction in 2010, arm-twisting the Kochi franchise and threatening to terminate their franchise agreement, selling media and internet rights without proper authorisation from the BCCI and showing interest in creating a rebel T20 league in England without the knowledge of the BCCI and the ECB.
In 2010, the BCCI drafted an invitation to tender (ITT) for rights to two new franchises that were to be auctioned later that year. The BCCI claimed that Modi, without informing the Board, added two “onerous conditions” to the ITT.
Modi’s defence was that he had informed the then BCCI president, Shashank Manohar, verbally but the disciplinary committee concluded that Modi had acted without the authorisation of the governing council.
The panel reasoned that this was done to “exclude healthy competition and favour two bidders, which is evident from the fact that only two bids were received in pursuant to the ITT.”
The rights to the two new franchises in 2010 — Pune Warriors and Kochi Tuskers — were bought by Sahara Adventure Sports and Rendezvous Sports World Pvt Ltd respectively.
But the BCCI’s contention was that Modi was “favouring another bidder” and had threatened a “representative” of the Kochi franchise to give up the rights, failing which he could impose various sanctions that could harm the new entrant.
The BCCI claimed that Modi’s threat was an “act of indiscipline and misconduct”.
The disciplinary panel found that the charge stood against Modi because “despite being the successful bidder, Modi made a roving enquiry on the ownership details of the Kochi franchise at the stage of signing the Franchise Agreement.”
The report stated: “He goes out of his way in making intrusive questions about the ownership details of the Kochi franchise.”
The panel said the act of arm-twisting was detrimental to the BCCI's interest and “endangered the harmony and affected the reputation of the BCCI.”
Other charges included indiscipline, levelling baseless charges against BCCI bosses, non-disclosure of interest/stake in Rajasthan Royals, Kings XI Punjab and the Kolkata Knight Riders.
The hearing into the charges against Modi, who is currently based in London claiming a threat to his life in India, started in July 2010 and the disciplinary committee conducted several hearings over a period of two years, none of which were attended by Modi in person.
Modi was suspended by the BCCI on April 25, 2010, just after the IPL final, which was held in Navi Mumbai.
the BCCI resolution
…Mr. Lalit Modi is guilty of committing acts of serious misconduct and indiscipline, and, therefore, in exercise of powers as per Regulation 32 of the memorandum and rules and regulations of the Board, Mr. Lalit Modi be and is hereby expelled from the BCCI. He shall forfeit all his rights and privileges as Administrator. He shall not in future be entitled to hold any position or office, or be admitted in any committee or any member or associate member of the Board.