Lalit Modi has termed as "fictitious" the "reliable source" who verbally alleged to Shashank Manohar, the BCCI president, that Modi was involved in tarnishing the board's image and the game, and also rigging the auction for the two new franchises in March. Modi demanded more details about the source and questioned why the source's name was not being revealed by the board, which is calling the alleged verbal conversation "private and confidential".
On Monday Modi had requested the BCCI for five additional days
to prepare his reply to the show-cause notice slapped on him on April 26 for various allegations
. In addition, he had also asked for documentary evidence
for each of the ten charges elaborated in the notice. The board sent him the papers the next day but Mehmood Abdi, Modi's legal counsel, stated that only four
of the ten charges against Modi in the show-cause notice carried documentary proof - the rest were verbal in nature.
If the BCCI was indeed relying on the unnamed source, Modi wanted confirmation of that along with the source's identity. "If you do intend to do so (use the oral communication), please let me know (i) who were the persons who made these oral communications; (ii) when were these oral communications sent; and (iii) what was the content of these communications," he wrote in a ten-point e-mail on Wednesday afternoon, addressed to N Srinivasan, the board secretary.
Later, Modi pointed to Page 11 of the notice where he is alleged to have influenced the outcome of the bidding for the new franchises which were finalised on March 21 in Chennai. The charge was that "subtle messages were sent to corporate entities that they were unwelcome to bid", but Modi contested it and asked for names or copies of messages backing up the claim.
Srinivasan's reply was: "It was brought to the notice of the BCCI by a reliable source that such messages were given to him. Since this communication was privileged and confidential, the name of the person is being held up. This information was provided orally."
But Modi refused to accept such an explanation. "In para 8 of your e mail (dealing with Page 11 of the Show Cause Notice) you have declined to name the alleged "reliable source" who allegedly orally communicated with the BCCI," Modi wrote. "You have sought to justify this by claiming that this oral communication was "privileged and confidential". This confirms my apprehension that there is no "reliable source" and this is all fiction and the "privilege and confidential" claim made is only to cover this up."
Modi said since the board is unable to make public the name of the source, it was only apt that he (source) be dropped entirely form the proceedings. "Assuming (whilst denying) that this phantom "reliable source" exists, the withholding of the name of the alleged "reliable source", for the reasons stated, is illegal and unjustified. This is also manifestly unfair. I cannot respond to the "un-known" nor be condemned on the basis thereof. This alleged oral communication from the alleged "reliable source" is required to be wholly excluded from consideration in these proceedings. Please confirm the same."
For now the only assurance the board has offered Modi is that it would be solely relying on the material that was sent to him. "The notice is issued on basis of the material set out in the notice and the documents which have been supplied to you," Srinivasan wrote to Modi in a fresh email today. "If your reply is found unsatisfactory, the matter is then referred to the Disciplinary Committee who shall, after giving you a further opportunity, decide the whole issue. All facts and documents, on which the notice has been issued, have been supplied to you. You may send your reply on the basis of the facts and documents which have been referred to. If an inquiry by the Disciplinary Committee is considered necessary and any further documents/materials, if any, are relied upon, or become available to the Inquiry, the same shall also be supplied to you."