Mumbai: A division bench of the Bombay High Court on Wednesday recused itself from the hearing of appeal filed by BCCI against a single judge’s order staying the proceedings of Disciplinary Committee (DC) which is probing allegations
against Lalit Modi.
“Not before me,” said Chief Justice Mohit Shah of the division bench, when appeal filed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India came up for hearing on Wednesday. However, Justice Shah did not give any reason.
The matter would now be placed before another bench.
Hearing BCCI’s plea on December 27, a vacation bench had refused to stay an earlier single bench order which had stayed till January 10 the proceedings of DC. Vacation bench had asked BCCI to approach a regular bench after vacations.
BCCI filed fresh plea before division bench when the High Court opened on Wednesday.
Justice Kathawala, on December 25, had stayed the proceedings against Modi, the former IPL commissioner. BCCI had sought a stay to that order praying that the meeting of DC comprising Arun Jaitley, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Chirayu Amin
be allowed to be held on December 27 and 28.
Nothing much survives in BCCI’s appeal now as the dates (December 27 and 28) have already passed and no fresh dates have been fixed for DC meetings, said Modi’s lawyer Mehmood Abidi.
Meanwhile, an application filed by Lalit Modi in a civil suit, seeking confirmation of stay to proceedings of DC meeting, came up for hearing on Wednesday before Justice SJ Kathawala.
BCCI counsel Rafiq Dada sought time saying he wanted to seek instructions from the cricket board. So the judge deferred the matter till on Thursday.
Modi, in his suit, has challenged the very existence of the DC after its term expired on September 29 last year. He has also challenged the validity of the proceedings undertaken by the present committee.
Modi contends that under article 1(q) of the by-laws, BCCI is authorised to have just one DC for a term of one year. The DC expired when BCCI failed to re-appoint it on September 29 last year, his petition says.
Instead, BCCI formed two disciplinary committees – one headed by Arun Jaitley and another by board president Shashank Manohar. The Jaitley committee has no fixed term. The Manohar committee is formed under article 1(q) for a year. This is violative of 1(q) of BCCI by-laws which provides for just one DC and that too for a fixed period of one year, Modi’s petition says.