No injustice done to Lalit Modi in inquiry: BCCI tells court

Updated: Mar 02, 2013, 18:27 PM IST

New Delhi: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) today told a Delhi court that no "injustice" is being done to sacked IPL commissioner Lalit Modi in the ongoing inquiry against him on an IPL bidding issue and he has not yet challenged the proceedings of disciplinary committee.

The BCCI made the submissions on a plaint filed by Modi against the Board, its President N Srinivasan, disciplinary committee members Arun Jaitley, Jyotiraditya Scindia and others seeking a declaration from the court that the committee is "biased" against him and has not conducted the proceedings so far in a "fair and transparent" manner.

Senior advocate Gopal Subramaniam, who appeared for BCCI, said it is a "serious charge" that the Board is manipulating the proceedings before the disciplinary committee and if it is so, Modi should have sought a judicial review of the inquiry proceedings but he has not done it so far.

"It is a serious charge against the Board. If gross injustice is done to a person at this stage, he will challenge it but he (Modi) has not done so," Subramaniam told Additional District Judge Ruby Alka Gupta.

He argued the proceedings before the disciplinary committee are going on from 2010 and since then, Modi has not challenged it but "what prompted him to do it just two days before next hearing there".

Modi's counsel Abhishek Singh, however, sought an interim injunction restraining BCCI from proceeding against his client before the committee comprising Jaitley and Scindia.

The court, however, refused to give any injunction to Modi and fixed the matter for further hearing of arguments on March 11.

The court asked the BCCI and its officials to file their replies on the plaint by the next date of hearing.

The court had on February 27 issued summons against BCCI, its President, its Administrator Shashank Manohar, Scindia, Jaitley and another disciplinary committee member Chirayu Amin. Except Scindia and Manohar, summons were served upon all the other defendants who had appeared before the court through their counsel.

The court also issued a fresh notice against Manohar while advocate Radha Ramaswami accepted the notice on behalf of Scindia who was out of town.

During the arguments, the counsel for the defendants objected to Mehmood M Abdi being the power of attorney holder for Modi in the plaint on the ground that he is also an advocate.

Abdi, however, clarified he is no longer enrolled as an advocate.

Modi, in his plaint, has said the BCCI disciplinary committee has been conducting the inquiry proceedings after a complaint was lodged against him on April 16, 2010 by the franchisee of Kochi IPL team for making its shareholding pattern public.

Subsequent to the complaint, a show cause notice was issued on April 24-25, 2010 to Modi who was also suspended from BCCI's activities pending the inquiry, it said.

Modi has alleged the inquiry against him was not being conducted in a fair and transparent manner by the committee as a perusal of the proceedings "would show that the records of cross examination of the witnesses have not been properly maintained".

He has also alleged Jaitley and Amin were privy to the allegations made against him by the franchisee of Kochi IPL team and therefore, they should recuse themselves.

During the arguments today, Subramaniam said Modi's claim that they are not being supplied with the complete evidence of witnesses being recorded before the committee and their confirmation emails was not correct as the transcripts are computer generated and they are being sent to them regularly.

"If it is a genuine grievance, he would have given a letter to the committee that I am not getting complete records but there is not even a single averment regarding this and he has not sent any letter to the committee," he said.

Senior advocate Sandeep Sethi, appearing for Jaitley and Amin, also contended all the witnesses are being examined before the committee in the presence of Modi's counsel and he has been given full opportunity to cross examine them.

Sethi further argued Modi has earlier also filed two petitions and one application before the Bombay High Court and the petitions were dismissed there while one is still pending.

"His conduct needs to be seen here. His conduct itself bars him from getting any relief now. It shows that he is desperately trying to somehow stop the proceedings before the committee," he said.

The proceedings before the committee is slated for tomorrow in which Modi's witnesses will be cross examined.

Modi, in his plaint, has sought a declaration that the inquiry conducted against him so far is "illegal, null and void and vitiated by fraud".

"Present is a suit for declaration and permanent injunction filed by the plaintiff (Lalit Modi) seeking reliefs against BCCI and members of disciplinary committee which is conducting an inquiry against the plaintiff," the plea said.