India news August 27, 2014

Modi's return will alter BCCI equations, says Modi's lawyer

ESPNcricinfo staff

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"He [Lalit Modi] is the only person who can take on Srinivasan," says Lalit Modi's lawyer

The Delhi High Court order to restore Lalit Modi's passport will prove as a "rallying point" in altering power equations in the BCCI, Modi's lawyer Mehmood Abdi has said. A two-judge bench of Badar Durrez Ahmed and Vibhu Bakhru reversed the three-year old-order that revoked Modi's passport, paving the way for his return to India. However, Abdi said Modi hasn't yet decided on his schedule to shift his base from London, where he has been based for more than four years.

"When he is back in India, the equations in BCCI will be altered," Abdi told ESPNcricinfo. "All the people who are feeling suffocated and who are looking to have some telling voice to take on Srinivasan will be relieved to see Lalit Modi back in India. Because he is the only person who can take on Srinivasan."

The order came as a fillip to Modi, who was recently elected as the president of the Rajasthan Cricket Association despite having been expelled for life from Indian cricket by the BCCI.

Since moving to London in April 2010, citing threats to his life and after being suspended by the BCCI for various alleged defaults, Modi was charged for various Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) misappropriations. During the investigations, his passport was revoked on March 3, 2011. In January 2013, Modi's appeal against the revocation was turned down.

However, the Delhi High Court reversed the order on grounds that the documents considered while revoking his passport were "extraneous and irrelevant".

While Modi tweeted he would not comment on the order, Abdi said the development was "a delightful occasion and a reason for celebration". "Our stand which has been taken by us all along that his passport was erroneously revoked on legally unsustainable grounds has been vindicated," Abdi told ESPNcricinfo. "He can come back any time in India now, but he has not given us any specific schedule."

Abdi also claimed that Modi no longer has any "criminal proceedings" against him, unless the government of India appeals against the High Court order in the Supreme Court. Abdi said all the alleged FEMA violations while organising IPL 2009, which Modi has been charged for, are not against him individually. "He is one of the many BCCI office-bearers who have been charged. By the way, FEMA violation does not entail any criminal liabilities. The matter is of civil nature which entails penalties and fines, etc, so there is nothing criminal pending against him anywhere in India or abroad," Abdi said.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John on August 28, 2014, 21:54 GMT

    @yorkshire -86. Totally concur with your viewpoint. The intrigue lays with the true motivation behind India's refusal to accept DRS. Is it an on field cricket matter ie Dhoni believes that they improve their chance of winning without DRS, is it an administrative matter that the BCCI believe they have a bargaining chip or is it a face matter and due to the power of the BCCI they cannot bring themselves to admit they are wrong. Finally there is the sinister possibility that says DRS cannot be bought whereas there is always the chance an umpire can eg Rauf. Whatever the motivation Cricket is making a mockery of itself each time an error is immediately shown to TV viewers. India has to answer the question why would the game not want to have the highest number of umpiring decisions correct? Hopefully Modi can get something positive happening on the DRS issue.

  • Jeff on August 28, 2014, 16:31 GMT

    Everyone will respect Modi a lot more if he uses his clout to force India to change from wanting a Prehistoric, Stone Age, Out of Date, Out of Touch with Modern Life, Backward Thinking game to be played (Cricket with no DRS) to playing a Modern, Loved, Respected, In Date, Forward Thinking game to be played (Cricket with full adoption of the DRS in all games). At the moment fans watch one game when India are not playing (the game is called cricket) and a different game when they are (a dinosaur-age relic closely related to cricket). In this day cricket without DRS is not the game of cricket, just a poor relative who cant keep up with the times.

  • Dummy4 on August 28, 2014, 13:50 GMT

    Saviour of Indian cricket is returning

  • Dummy4 on August 28, 2014, 4:40 GMT

    But will he do something to address the pathetic state of domestic cricket in India? If he can do it, then he should be welcomed back.

  • Ashok on August 27, 2014, 20:21 GMT

    Glad to see that all the charges against Mr. Modi have been dropped & his Indian passport restored. In a shrinking world, it is not difficult to get any country's passport when your own country revokes your passport. Mr. Modi is a businessman with excellent Entrepreanure skills. He was the brains behind the IPL which has made BCCI the richest Cricket Boards in the World. For a person of his stature to be deprived of passport of the country of his birth was unfair especially after his creation of IPL. I am sure he is doing just as well in London- the business hub of the World. At least now he has a choice either to return to India or to take up a permanent residence in UK. As JFK said "Ask Not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country". Has Mr. Modi not done enough for India? He could do more as the BCCI president for the Indian Cricket provided there is an incentive for him to return to India!

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