India news September 25, 2013

Supreme Court to hear Modi appeal against BCCI SGM

India's Supreme Court is to hear on Wednesday afternoon a petition by Lalit Modi against the BCCI's special general meeting convened to discuss the disciplinary report on the former IPL chairman. The court is expected to hear the appeal at around the same time as the SGM is scheduled to convene.*

The Delhi High Court had, on Tuesday, dismissed Modi's appeal to issue a restraining order that would prevent the BCCI from holding the special general meeting (SGM) on September 25, when the board is expected to decide on a ban for Modi. A single-judge bench of VK Shali, after a two-day hearing, overruled the stay order imposed by the Patila House Court, where Modi had filed the application.

It is understood the BCCI will go ahead with the SGM, which will be chaired by the president N Srinivasan, in Chennai.

According to the BCCI's lawyer, CA Sundaram, the High Court concluded that the board's notice to Modi was issued correctly and the trial court should never have passed the stay order. "The judge said Mr Srinivsasn continues to be the president. He is vested with the powers of the president even if Mr Dalmiya may be doing the day-to-day activities. The notice was correctly issued and the trial court could not have given an ex parte injunction against a special general meeting. Such an order ought not have been passed at all by the trial court."

Earlier this month, the BCCI Disciplinary Committee had found Modi guilty on eight charges of "indiscipline and misconduct," and said that the final sanction would be decided during the SGM. On September 21, Modi approached the trial court where his legal counsels Swadeep Hora and Abhishek Singh argued before district judge Ruby Alka Gupta that the SGM notice, circulated by BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel on September 2, was illegal since Patel's appointment was not in accordance with the BCCI constitution. Since only the president of the BCCI can fill up a mid-term vacancy of a principal office-bearer, Patel's appointment by a working committee meeting with the president having stepped aside was illegal, they contended. The trial court then stayed the SGM. The BCCI had challenged the trial court's order by approaching the High Court on Monday.

SGMs, which strictly discuss a pre-fixed agenda, require a three-quarter mandate for a decision to be ratified. This effectively means that 24 votes would be enough to get Modi banned in a house of 31 votes, including 27 full members, National Cricket Club in Kolkata, Cricket Club of India in Mumbai, All-India Universities and the president's vote.

*0534 GMT, September 25. This news piece was updated with information about Lalit Modi's appeal to India's Supreme Court

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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