The charges against Lalit Modi
After the IPL governing council meeting, BCCI president Shashank Manohar was elaborate in his explanation of the charges against Lalit Modi, which compelled him to suspend the league's chairman
After the IPL governing council meeting, BCCI president Shashank Manohar was elaborate in his explanation of the charges against Lalit Modi, which compelled him to suspend the league's chairman. The allegations involved the bids for Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab, the broadcasting deal and the reported facilitation fee, rigging of bids for new franchises in 2010, the sale of internet rights, and Modi's behaviour. Here is the excerpt from Manohar's press conference.
Initial bids for Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab: "There is a chargesheet already issued to him [Modi, by the IT department]. There was a company based in the UK by the name of Emerging Media IPL. The company was owned by a single individual - Manoj Badale. The company was started four months earlier to the bid. His bid was accepted. However the agreement is signed with Jaipur IPL [Jaipur IPL Cricket Private Limited]. There is an interesting fact to be noted: this is a company wherein there were only two stakeholders at the time the agreement was signed. The two stakeholders were one Mr Castelinho and Bal Thakur.
"Now the bid is given by A, the document signed by B, who had nothing to do with the bid. Then, separate companies have come in, who have registered in Mauritius. Mr Modi made a statement that the entire world knows [who the stakeholders] in the franchises are. But even the members of the governing council were not aware. As I said, in the Rajasthan Royal franchise, Jaipur IPL is the main company. The shares of these two persons are then sold and transferred to certain individuals and certain companies like Tresco and Blue Waters. Nobody knows what Blue Waters and Tresco is. Now, I did not find in the shareholders' register the names of Mr Raj Kundra and Shilpa Shetty, who claim to be the stakeholders.
"There is a clause in the agreement, which is entered into with all the franchises, that in case you transfer your shares, the transfer has to be made with the permission of the IPL and the board is entitled to have 5% of the amount of the transaction as their fees. Now nothing of this [sort] has happened. So we are asking an explanation, if A gives the bid, how do you sign agreement with B? How does (sic) all these people get into this? None of us are aware and we don't know who these companies are."
Kings XI Punjab: "When the bids were given, it was signed only by Preity Zinta. She said she will form a consortium with three people: Mohit Burman, one Mr Karan Paul and one other name. When the franchise agreement was signed by her, she did not have a single share in that company. The shares were transferred to her after the signing of the agreement. Then Mr Gaurav Burman gets in and the rest (of the things happen). Again the same logic should be applied: you need to have the consent of the IPL and the fee. But once again nothing happened."
Broadcasting rights: "For example, there is an allegation that a facilitation fee was paid. But the board does not have the document. Now, this deal happened between MSM (Multi Screen Media) Singapore and WSG Mauritius, so there is no reason why this document would be present with the board. So since I don't have this document with me, I don't see any reason why we should be aware of this. Now, if you take Rajasthan Royals, people are saying there is benami (proxy) funding in the franchise. So if the funds are coming from Mauritius, or if the funds are coming from Virgin Islands, I do not have any machinery to find out where the funds are coming from. So I cannot see whose funds are coming from where. Now Income Tax (department) and Enforcement Directorate are investigating these matters and, when they gave us the notice, only then we became aware of it.
"The original document of the Sony broadcasting deal, we don't have in our possession. The income tax authorities are asking for it, but we can't supply it because we don't have it. All the documents of the execution are with Lalit Modi."
Rigging of franchise bids in 2010: "There is no question of irregularities with regard to the two new franchises. Because of the bid conditions, which were unreasonable when the first tender was issued, the governing council took a decision to cancel. As far as the two new bids are concerned, there is no irregularity as far as the board is concerned. There is a complaint made by the Kochi franchise that they were arm twisted by Modi to surrender their rights in favour of somebody else."
Internet Rights: (This was the only charge which Manohar was not asked about, and he did not dwell on its details.)
Behaviorial Pattern: "[This relates to] confidential information of the board being leaked to the media. I have always maintained this: the board functions within the four walls of this building (Cricket Centire, BCCI headquarters). If you have to leak everything to the media then you might as well hold this meeting at the Oval ground (Churchgate)."