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BCCI suspends Lalit Modi

Posted by James On 2:33 PM 0 comments

The BCCI has suspended Lalit Modi, the IPL chairman, following several allegations of financial misconduct over the past fortnight. The suspension notice was served on him by Rajeev Shukla, a BCCI vice-president, at the conclusion of Sunday's tournament final in Mumbai, with Shashank Manohar, the board president, sending an email to the same effect. It is understood Modi - who has not signalled his intentions but is likely to go to court - will be given 48 hours to answer the charges levelled at him.

In a release issued shortly after the end of the IPL final, the BCCI president Shashank Manohar said the "alleged acts of individual misdemeanors of Mr Lalit K Modi, chairman IPL and vice president BCCI, have brought a bad name to the administration of cricket and the game itself.

"I have waited for IPL 3 - 2010 to conclude in order to respond to the situation as I did not want the event to be disrupted in any manner. Immediately after the conclusion of the IPL final, the secretary, BCCI Mr N Srinivasan has in consultation with me issued a show cause notice to Mr. Lalit K Modi under Rule 32 (iv) calling upon him to show cause within 15 days why disciplinary action should not be taken against him. Simultaneously in exercise of the powers vested in me under Rule 32 (vii), I have suspended Mr. Lalit K Modi from participating in the affairs of the Board, the IPL, the working committee and any other committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in India."

Modi, however, he made a strong statement at the post-match ceremony in a speech that dwelt on the controversy. "We have had some off field unpleasant dramas only based on innuendo, half truths and motivated leaks from all kinds of sources," he said. "I assure you all decisions have been taken jointly by the governing council ... Still, as the leader of the team, if there is any flouting of rules or any other financial irregularity, I will take full responsibility."

Earlier, before he received the notice, he had taken a similar combative stand while talking to NDTV. Informed of the imminent suspension, he said: ""Good for them. Are they so scared of me attending? Are they so scared of the truth?"

The IPL governing council is due to meet on Monday and, though the meeting was called by BCCI president Shashank Manohar, Modi sent out an agenda that included asking all those filing charges to bring documentary evidence. It now appears that Modi will not be allowed to attend that meeting.

The meeting is likely to pick an interim IPL chairman and work out a plan for the future - not just for the league but also for tackling Modi, who does not appear likely to leave quietly. The BCCI would have preferred Modi resigning, as that would have ended the matter there; a suspension means, at some stage, documents and transactions being scrutinised.

Modi now has 48 hours to respond to the charges. If his response is deemed unsatisfactory, the board will pass a resolution to terminate him at the working committee meeting on May 2. That will then go to vote at the special AGM, which can be held a week after the working committee meeting.

Through much of the past two days negotiators - including two franchise owners - have been working on Modi to resign. On Sunday evening, though, the die appeared cast - hours before the final got under way, Modi tweeted his decision to attend Monday's meeting, a reversal of his earlier stand. Later in the evening the IPL secretariat sent out a mail from Modi.

"On the agenda will be a discussion on any complaints received in writing from members of the governing council against the chairman, other members of the council and/or the BCCI," it said. "Members of the governing council have been requested to give all such complaints in writing with the requisite supporting documents at the meeting to the chairman so they can be replied in full."

Now that seems to be irrelevant. One member of the governing council told Cricinfo the BCCI president was vested with the powers to suspend any member. "Under the provisions of the BCCI constitution, the president can utilise Article 32 to suspend a member and an enquiry committee will be instituted to probe the matter further."

Rule 32, Clause VII of the Board's constitution states: "Pending enquiry and proceeding into complaints or charges of misconduct or any act of indiscipline or violation of any Rules and Regulations, the concerned administrator may be suspended by the president from participating in any of the affairs of the Board until final adjudication."

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