The IPL mess June 24, 2010

'Srinivasan's response a mockery of rule of law' - Modi

Cricinfo staff

Lalit Modi, the suspended IPL chairman, has lashed out against N Srinivasan, the BCCI secretary, who rejected the replies filed by Modi to the three show-causes notices issued by the Indian board. Modi dismissed Srinivasan's response as illegal, for it was, according to him, a private decision and not one taken by the board. He has issued a 48-hour ultimatum to Srinivasan, demanding him to "recall" his views, inform the board that the views were his own and that the board, and not him, would decide the way forward. Modi also reiterated his demand that Srinivasan, like the BCCI president Shashank Manohar, recuse himself from the disciplinary committee that will consider the case against him.

"I wish to make it absolutely clear that I do not accept the legality of any of your suggestions, findings or recommendations," Modi said in his letter, a copy of which is available with Cricinfo. "The decision contained in the said document appears to be your private decision and is not an institutional decision of or on behalf of, the Board. Any reference, by you, to the Board, of your private decision is and will be, wholly un-constitutional, illegal and null and void ab-initio.

While responding to the first show-cause, on May 15, Modi had asked the IPL governing council to remove Manohar and Srinivasan from all proceedings involving the charges filed against him, and instead constitute an independent panel to adjudicate on the matter. Modi had accused Srinivasan of misusing his position as board secretary to benefit the team he owns, Chennai Super Kings, and added there was enough reason to be apprehensive of bias on Srinivasan's part.

While criticising Srinivasan's involvement in the proceedings, given Modi's allegations against him, Modi also questioned the legality of the board secretary taking the decision on his own.

"I dare say that what is even more disturbing is that despite the Honorary President having rescued himself, you have chosen to decide the matter. Please confirm under which provision of the BCCI constitution, you have done so."

The three show-cause notices had contained charges of irregularities in the bidding process, broadcast rights and theatrical rights among others. Modi filed detailed responses to the three, including a reply that ran into 15,000 pages for the first notice.

Modi accused Srinivasan of showing malice, pre-empting the board's response by substituting them with his own. The replies filed for the show-cause notices, Modi said, ought to have been circulated to the "General Body" to arrive at a collective decision but Srinivasan had chosen to act on them independently.

"It has also become absolutely clear that as far as you are concerned you are acting out of malice. Further, it is obvious that if any inquiry is warranted, it should be into your conduct rather than into the meaningless trumped up allegations levelled in the Show Cause Notice, and to safeguard your position you have taken this ridiculous step of giving your decision as it were, which is a mockery not only of the BCCI constitution but also of the rule of law," Modi said.

"I regret to have to observe that your actions have completely deprived these proceedings of even a semblance of credibility. The fact that the Secretary of the BCCI has, in a manner involving such immense public scrutiny and interest as the present, chosen to act in such a fashion, threatens to potentially undermine the fair name of the BCCI itself."

Srinivasan has passed his findings to the members of the general body for ratification at the Special General Meeting, (SGM) scheduled for July 3, when a decision on Modi's future will be taken.