Chennai: Dec 28, 2013
Faced with the tricky issue of how to deal with the possible re-entry of banned former Indian Premier League (IPL) Commissioner Lalit Modi into Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA), the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) decided to become a party in the Supreme Court case challenging the RCA polls and get its position clarified.
The decision to “intervene” in the Special Leave Petition filed in the Supreme Court, was taken in an Emergent Working Committee meeting of the Board to discuss the possible implications of Modi’s re-entry into the RCA.
“The Working Committee meeting of the BCCI was held today to decide the course of action to be followed to enforce the decision of the Members to expel Mr Lalit Modi. It was noted by the members that Lalit Modi had contested for the post of President in the elections of RCA notwithstanding his expulsion by BCCI,” BCCI Secretary Sanjay Patel said in a release.
“The members decided that the BCCI must intervene in the SLP filed by Mr. Rungta in the Supreme Court challenging the Rajasthan Sports Act and get clarified the position of BCCI to enable the enforcement of its resolution passed on 25th September 2013 expelling Mr. Lalit Modi.” it said. The Board, however, made it clear that “subject to the decision of the Supreme Court, strict disciplinary action should be taken against the delinquent member while protecting the interest of the game in the state of Rajasthan”.
The Working Committee and other invitee members also discussed other important issues pertaining to the activities of its Anti-Corruption Unit pursuant to a presentation by Ravi Sawani, besides also taking up income tax issues.
Modi was allowed to fight for the post of RCA president in the December 19 elections held under the supervision of a Supreme Court-appointed observer. The results of the polls are expected to be known on January 6 when the matter relating to the RCA comes up for hearing before the Supreme Court.
Modi’s lawyer Mehmood Abdi, who is also Ganganagar District Association president, had come here to present RCA’s case before the Board top brass on how the banned former IPL commissioner was allowed to contest its elections, though Rajasthan is not a member of the BCCI Working Committee.
But, RCA claimed that its representative Abdi was ill-treated and not allowed to attend the meeting. In an e-mail to BCCI Secretary Sanjay Patel, RCA Secretary K K Sharma sought an apology for the way Abdi was handled by the security personnel at the hotel where the meeting was held and for the embarrassment it caused to the state unit.
“I am completely distressed by the manner our representative has been treated. Minimum courtesy demands that you would place our request before the Working Committee and inform us if we are going to be permitted to present our case or not. If a decision has already been taken to prevent us from not allowing us to present our case, the same should have been conveyed to us earlier so that we could have avoided embarrassment to our association,” Sharma said.
“We would also seek an apology from the person who had instructed security (bouncers) to prevent our representative from entering the meeting room. Please note this could not have been the decision of Working Committee because our representative was prevented from entering the room before the meeting started. Mehmood Abdi is still waiting in the hotel.
Please let us know your response immediately. We expect that minimum courtesy that is due to a full board member would be extended to us,” he added.
Earlier in the day, Abdi said that the BCCI would have to hear him out on how Modi was allowed to contest RCA elections.
Asked if he will meet Board President N Srinivasan, Abdi said, “K K Sharma told Sanjay Patel that Mr Abdi is coming (for the meeting). We are a member, why will BCCI not listen to us. They will have to listen to us.”
“We have come here as RCA representative. We are not outsiders, we are full time member of BCCI,” said Abdi, who was yesterday appointed by the RCA as its representative to present its case to the BCCI.
Asked what the RCA would do if it is suspended by the BCCI, he said, “They don’t have the sanction (power) to do that. We are bound by Rajasthan Sports Code.”
Abdi, who also contested for the post of Deputy President in the RCA elections, said Modi’s return to the country was difficult as he faces “threat from the underworld and every agency knows this.
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