Charges against Modi ratified unanimously: Manohar

Zeecric Bureau

Mumbai: In what could be the end of road for Lalit Modi, BCCI president Shashank Manohar claimed on Saturday that all charges against the suspended IPL chief have been ratified.

Manohar said that all the charges against Modi have been confirmed in the Special General Meeting and the Disciplinary Committee that has been constituted to hear Modi’s case will decide further on the action that has to be taken against him.

The ratification of charges authorized Manohar to initiate civil and criminal proceedings against the suspended IPL chief.

It also referred the charges against Modi to a re-constituted disciplinary committee which now has Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia replacing Manohar, who recused himself after Modi accused him of bias.

Manohar said criminal proceedings could be started against Modi for financial bunglings while issuing IPL contracts and rights.

“The house, after deliberation and debate on the matter, resolved that the Board President has the right to start any legal proceedings, including civil and criminal proceedings, against Mr Modi,” he told a press conference.

“The civil and criminal matters would be decided after inquiry and that is for the disciplinary committee to decide. I can tell you that there were certain rights given to parties without there being contracts like the ticketing rights of the finals and the third-place match given to a company called ‘Ticket Genie’. There was no contract to show how many tickets were printed and how many were sold,” he said.

Manohar said Modi will have to appear before the disciplinary committee where he would get a chance to put forth his reply on accusations that include taking kickbacks from TV and internet rights.

“Modi says he was not aware about the facilitation fee of USD 80 million. Modi who has signed the contract has given us the reply that he was not aware of the fee. He will be asked to appear before the inquiry committee where he can give his additional reply,” he said.

On the disciplinary committee’s functioning, Manohar said since he was no longer a part of the panel, he could not comment.

“Now we don’t have anything to do with the committee’s proceedings,” he said.

On the World Sports Group’s threat to initiate legal action against the BCCI for scrapping its telecast deals, Manohar said, “If they want to go to court, it’s fine.”

Modi has been slapped with three show cause notices so far accusing him of financial bunglings, trying to start a rebel league in England and irregularities in issuing theatrical rights of the IPL.

Modi’s replies, the first one running into a whopping 15,000 pages, were rejected by the BCCI which then decided to call the SGM to discuss the issue.

The decision to refer the matter to the disciplinary committee is seen as the first step towards ousting Modi from all BCCI positions.

Modi, a BCCI vice-President, has remained defiant accusing the Board Secretary of pursuing personal vendetta against him.

Jyotiraditya, Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, was included after Manohar recused himself from all proceedings against Modi, who has been charged with financial irregularities relating to the bidding process for IPL franchises.

Sources said the BCCI is likely to file an embezzlement case of between Rs 1200-1500 crore against the suspended IPL commissioner.

Modi had been charged on several counts ranging from financial irregularities to bid- rigging as chairman of the cash-rich IPL.

Modi, who was backed by BCCI vice president Farooq Abdullah and Bangalore Royal Challengers owner Vijay Mallya when the IPL controversy surfaced, would find it tough as his support base has quickly waned.

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