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    Default Lalit Modi will face criminal cases

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    Suspended IPL chief Lalit Modi's head was already on the chopping block but the guillotine had yet to fall on the order of the 'powers' that be in the BCCI. But that happened on Saturday when a Special General Meeting (SGM) of the BCCI unanimously ratified all charges against him. The 30-member body also authorised BCCI president Shashank Manohar to initiate civil and criminal proceedings against the flamboyant 46-year-old.

    The charges against Modi were put forward to a three-member disciplinary committee, which was reconstituted after Modi had objected to Manohar and secretary N Srinivasan's presence on the committee. The new three-member committee will have Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, partnered by DDCA president Arun Jaitley and interim IPL chief and Baroda Cricket Association president Chirayu Amin. They will have to file their reports by October 26, six months from the day the first showcause notice was issued to Modi.

    Modi, who has been accused of financial bungling of more than 1,000 crores, now faces criminal proceedings. The Board president used words like "deliberation" and "debate" while addressing the media, but it seemed as if the press conference could have been held much before the meeting, so premeditated did everything seem.

    Although Modi's fate appears to be sealed, Manohar said he would be given a fair chance to defend himself by appearing before the disciplinary committee. "He can file his additional replies and do whatever he wants and examine witnesses." But the seriousness of the allegations and mood within the BCCI suggests it might be game, set and match for the man who was, not too long ago, poster-boy of the BCCI, which he made the richest cricket board in the world.

    Modi has a big fight on his hands after the BCCI ratified all charges against him at a Special General Meeting (SGM) on Saturday. BCCI chief Shashank Manohar said that Modi would be given a fair chance to defend himself by appearing before the disciplinary committee.

    "The civil and criminal matters would be decided after inquiry and that is for the disciplinary committee to decide. I can tell you that there were certain rights given to parties without contracts like the ticketing rights of the semifinals and finals and the third-place match were given to a company called 'Ticket Genie'. There was no contract to show how many tickets were printed and how many were sold," Manohar said.

    About the $80 million facilitation fee between WSG and MSM, Manohar stressed, "Modi, in his reply, has stated that he was not aware of the fee, despite signing on the agreement. How come the BCCI would know?"

    When asked why 39-year-old MP Jyotiraditya, son of former BCCI president late Madhavrao Scindia, but a greenhorn when it comes to BCCI politics, was chosen in the disciplinary committee, Manohar stated, "Modi had accused me and Manohar of bias, so we both thought that Scindia would be the best choice as he is not associated with the day to day functioning of the board, but he knows how the board functions."

    Sources indicated that Scindia's name was suggested by former BCCI President Ranbir Singh Mahendra. They also suggested that the bunglings of Modi have caused a loss of over Rs, 1,000 crore to the BCCI.

    It's the classic 'fairweather friends syndrome.' When his chips are down, Modi is losing friends pretty past. At Special General Body meeting of the Indian cricket board (BCCI) in Mumbai which ratified the some serious charges against Modi, the four state associations which were supposed to be Modi sympathisers also jumped to the other side of the fence.

    Sources said that Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA), Cricket Club of India (CCI), Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) and Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA), who enjoyed close proximity with Modi, openly supported BCCI's decision of pressing ahead with the charges against him.

    According to insiders, it was JKCA representative Aslam Goni who raised the issue and insisted that the BCCI should take appropriate action against Modi. Members of MCA, PCA and CCI supported him. MCA president Sharad Pawar and PCA president IS Bindra, two power centres within BCCI, have always been close to Modi.

    "There was not a single member who spoke in favour of Modi, which makes it clear that he will have to fight this battle mostly alone," a top BCCI official said.

    Meanwhile, the Himachal representative complained at the meeting that Modi racked up hotel bills worth Rs 8 lakh during his stay in Dharamshala for two IPL matches.
    ...being a human...



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