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BCCI suspends Rajasthan cricket body after foe Lalit Modi pops up as its chief

Jaipur, May 6 (PTI): The Board of Control for Cricket in India on Tuesday suspended the Rajasthan Cricket Association shortly after the delayed results of last December’s elections threw up the BCCI’s arch-foe Lalit Modi as the president.

On September 25 last year, the BCCI had imposed a life ban on Modi, a former commissioner of the Indian Premier League cricket, after its disciplinary committee found him guilty on eight charges of “indiscipline and misconduct”.

The results were announced here on Tuesday by the court-appointed observer, N.M. Kasliwal, a retired judge. Modi won by an emphatic 24-5 margin after the Supreme Court cleared the decks for the announcement of the election results.

The BCCI has made it clear that it would not accept the results.

Within hours of the declaration of RCA election results, the BCCI indefinitely suspended the RCA and decided to form an ad-hoc committee to run the affairs of the affiliated unit.

”The BCCI President has indefinitely suspended RCA from participating in any BCCI activity. The decision has been taken as per the constitution clause No. 32, sub-clause 7, where the president has the right to suspend an association, which doesn't conform with the rules and regulations of the BCCI. The decision was taken by Interim President Shivlal Yadav,” BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel told PTI.

Asked if the chances of Rajasthan players being selected in various national teams will be affected because of this development, Patel said: “BCCI is pro-player. Our endeavour will be to look after the cricketers from Rajasthan. We will be forming an Ad-hoc body which will run cricket in Rajasthan, taking care of the interest of the players.”

The 50-year-old Modi, who has been living in London for the past four years, was allowed to contest the RCA elections held on December 19 last year under the supervision of a Supreme Court-appointed observer.

Among other office-bearers, Somendra Tiwari was elected as the new secretary, while Pawan Goyal won the treasurer's post. Mehmood M Abdi, a confidante and legal counsel of Modi, has been elected as the deputy president of the RCA.

Abdi said he expected the BCCI to take a more rational view of the situation now that N Srinivasan is no longer at the helm of affairs after being forced to step aside pending an inquiry into the IPL spot-fixing and betting scandal.

”As Mr Srinivasan is not at the helm of BCCI affairs, the body is run by Sunil Gavaskar and Shivlal Yadav, who understand the game and this whole matter. I don't expect any hasty reply from the BCCI,” he said.

Abdi claimed that Modi, despite being based in London right now, was capable of running the RCA affairs.

”Modi will be running RCA through his executive committee. It is a shrinking world and lot of the work is done through video conferencing. C.P. Joshi was the chief earlier for four years and he used to be in Delhi most of the times,” he said.

”I expect Modi to be back when the security situation improves,” he added, referring to the alleged security threat cited by Modi for refusing to come back to India.

After Modi entered the fray in the RCA elections, BCCI had challenged the Rajasthan Sports Act of 2005, which allowed the former IPL chief to contest the presidential polls despite being banned for life by the Board.

Modi's re-election is being seen a massive blow to Srinivasan, who has been criticised severely by the discarded administrator on several occasions.

The BCCI disciplinary committee, consisting of Arun Jaitley and Jyotiraditya Scindia, had submitted a report in July 2013, in which it had found Modi guilty of financial irregularities, indiscipline and “actions detrimental to the interest of the BCCI”.

Later last year, the apex court made its retired judge Justice Kasliwal a principal observer to oversee the RCA elections. The elections had become contentious because Modi was in the fray for the president-ship.

Challenging the election, the BCCI pleaded that Modi should not have been allowed to contest and the election be quashed.

But last month, the Supreme Court cleared the decks for the declaration of RCA's election results.

Brushing aside the BCCI's objection, a bench headed by Justice A R Dave directed the registry to send the results, in a sealed envelope by Kasliwal.

The court, however, has said that anyone aggrieved of the outcome can challenge it before an appropriate authority.