Defiant Modi dares BCCI with voluminous reply
Mumbai: Suspended IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi on Saturday responded to the first showcause notice served to him for alleged financial irregularities with a staggering 12,000-page reply, which according to his lawyers, will leave BCCI with no choice but to re-instate him in the post.
Modi, who had got an extension of five days from May 10 deadline, submitted his reply through his lawyers, who brought in the papers in six cartons amidst the media frenzy at the Cricket Centre, the Board`s headquarters here.
BCCI Chief Administrative Officer Ratnakar Shetty received the papers and documents on behalf of the Board and said all the concerned people will be given the copies.
Modi`s lawyers Mehmood Abdi talked with the waiting media for close to 30 minutes and said the reply had "sufficiently and fully addressed" all the allegations against his client.
He expressed confidence that BCCI would drop the showcause and re-instate Modi as IPL Chairman after going through the voluminous reply.
"We have given all clarification, nothing is left from our side, except that the showcause notice must be dropped immediately. All the allegations have been sufficiently and fully addressed," Abdi told reporters.
Modi`s lawyer said the BCCI will not find it difficult to read and scrutinise the voluminous reply since its President was himself a lawyer.
"According to me, the suspension should be revoked today and Mr Modi should be reinstated as IPL Commissioner because the BCCI President is a renowned lawyer and has the habit of reading 1,000 pages in a minute. So, I feel he should not take much time in reading our reply.”
"There is no scope for BCCI to keep their charges alive now. I am 100 per cent confident that BCCI President will be satisfied to drop all the charges against Mr Modi.”
"I feel it has been painful for Mr Modi to hear that he has brought disrepute to the game based on oral allegations. Just few days earlier he was the hero. He was the subject matter of studies in universities and in one moment he was turned into a fall guy," he said.
"The BCCI gave us a 35-page showcause notice and we have given a reply to that in 160 pages, including the covering. Our reply contains nearly 8,500 to 9,000 pages and two copies have been provided to BCCI -- one for President Shashank Manohar and the other for secretary N Srinivasan," Abdi said.
Asked about the content of the reply, he said, "It is not for us to share the details, it is BCCI`s authority now."
He said BCCI may be given another set of papers, if required.
"We have reserved the right to produce another voluminous set of papers which may run into 37 to 45 thousand pages. It will have the trail of e-mails of the institutions and authorities who matter, if required.”
"I am not alone who worked on this reply. It has been a team work to put all the inputs together. There is a big legal team, including Harish Salve, Ram Jethmalani and his son Harish Jethmalani among others, who has been drafting this reply and filed it in just 20 days."
Abdi also contended that BCCI did not follow proper procedure in suspending Modi.
"Although BCCI issued the showcause notice on hearsay allegations, Mr Modi tried to reply them. There should have been a complaint in writing, oral complaint is no complaint. In this case suspension came first. It has been done wrongly," he said.
Shetty spoke to media after Abdi`s interaction with media and confirmed receiving the reply.
"I have received the documents and all the concerned people will be given the copies.”
On Abdi`s charge that BCCI did not follow procedure, he said," That is his personal opinion. I can`t react on that. The Board has adopted a procedure and we stick to that."
Modi was suspended on April 26, soon after the conclusion of the IPL-III final in Navi Mumbai by BCCI which sent him a show cause notice asking him to reply to a slew of charges relating to the conduct of the high-profile Twenty20 league.
Modi is accused of indulging in murky financial deals without the knowledge of the IPL Governing Council, bid-rigging and taking kickbacks from the TV rights and internet deals.
Modi`s problems were compounded when he was slapped with a second show cause notice by the Board for allegedly trying to provoke English counties to revolt against their parent body, the ECB, and start a parallel Twenty20 league.
Now the board`s three-man disciplinary committee, comprising President Shashank Manohar and two vice-presidents - Arun Jaitley and Chirayu Amin, will take a decision on the matter. The panel is expected to meet in mid-June to decide on the issue.