Mumbai: Lalit Modi’s legal counsel on Thursday slammed top Cricket Board officials for squarely blaming the sacked IPL Commissioner for all IPL-related queries at a meeting with a Parliamentary Committee members by terming their stand as “irresponsible and unsustainable”.
“The response to the queries by certain senior BCCI officials are irresponsible and unbecoming of their positions. The stand taken by the BCCI officials that Lalit Modi took them for a ride is too simplistic, sweeping and unsustainable to reason and logic,” said Modi’s counsel Mehmood Abdi in a statement today.
Under fire over allegations of foreign exchange violations in IPL, BCCI’s top officials had blamed sacked commissioner Modi for “mistakes” as they told the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance yesterday that they had given approvals at his behest in “good faith”.
BCCI president Shashank Manohar, secretary N Srinivasan and IPL chairman Chirayu Amin were quizzed by the Parliamentary Committee for about two-and-a-half hours about the alleged FEMA violations.
“All these persons are adult individuals who ought to possess common prudence to be hoodwinked by Lalit Modi. Their conduct puts a question mark on their worthiness to hold such high office,” Abdi said.
“The role and powers of office bearers (of BCCI) are well defined and at no point in time Lalit Modi was vested with any power to conduct financial functions. It was BCCI’s secretary and treasurer who had sanctioned the expenditure, settled payments and signed financial instruments like checks etc,” he said.
Abdi further added that the statements by the BCCI officials that acts were “mistakes” which were done in “good faith” were self defeating.
“Mistakes do not necessarily entail deliberate intention. Therefore, on the one hand they wish leniency and kid glove treatment for them but brand Lalit Modi as culprit for the mistakes,” he said.
Abdi felt the case for an independent disciplinary panel to probe BCCI’s charges against Modi has strengthened following the stand taken yesterday by the Board officials as one of them (Amin) was on BCCI’s disciplinary committee.
“The attitude of BCCI officials (who) deposed before the parliamentary committee, one of whom is a member of the disciplinary committee probing charges against Modi, makes our case for an independent panel of inquiry stronger,” he said.
“We have lost faith in their fairness as the member goes public levelling blame at Lalit Modi. If he is convinced of the guilt of Modi before inquiry what is left for him to probe into,” Abdi wondered.
He also added that his reaction was entirely based on media reports of the parliamentary committee proceedings.
Yesterday, the BCCI was asked about the funding pattern of the highly popular IPL and the methods adopted for payment to foreign and Indian players.
The Parliamentary Committee also sought details of the expenses incurred on the conduct of the second edition of the Twenty20 tournament in South Africa in 2009.
The IPL was held in the African nation in 2009 due to a clash of dates with the general elections in India.