Even as a legal battle lies ahead, former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi secured a moral victory on Monday with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) conceding a “defeat” against him in the Rajasthan Cricket Association polls.
BCCI told the Supreme Court that it knew Modi, who contested for the president’s post, had received maximum votes and that he would emerge a clear winner. “We know the result he (Modi) is a clear winner. He has 26 out of 33 votes,” BCCI’s counsel told a bench of Justices AR Dave and JS Khehar.
The submission was made as soon as the hearing began so as to prevent the bench from opening the envelopes containing the results of the poll and declare the result officially even before the BCCI’s objections to Modi’s candidature was legally examined.
The BCCI counsel contended that declaration of the result should await adjudication of their objections that Modi, who has been slapped with a life ban for financial irregularities in the IPL, could not have been allowed to contest at all.
BCCI’s counsel C A Sundaram and senior advocate Haren Raval, appearing for Modi’s rival for the post of President in RCA R P Sharma submitted that Modi was wrongfully allowed to contest and declaration of result by the court will have far-reaching repercussions.
It was also argued that since Modi was already banned by BCCI from holding any position, his taking over as RCA chief would debar the state cricket association from participating in the game and will also restrict players affiliated to it from being part of the Indian cricket team, in which there are two players from Rajasthan.
Modi’s counsel Harish Salve however opposed the contention, pointing out Srinivasan was at the helm of affairs in the BCCI despite his son-in-law facing criminal case in connection with the IPL spot fixing.
Realising that the entire controversy over the RCA polls was turning out to be a battle between Srinivasan and Modi, the bench decided to adjourn the hearing for March 4.
The bench had on the last occasion said it would declare the result of the RCA so as to decide the future course of hearing in the matter. The court had underlined that objections by the BCCI and others against accepting nomination of Modi despite a life ban would require to be heard only if he is elected.
Pursuant to the decision by its working committee, BCCI has intervened in a matter already pending before the court wherein the Rajasthan Sports Act 2005 has been challenged. Former RCA secretary Kishore Rungta had filed this petition, challenging the provision that abolished voting rights for individual members.
BCCI’s petition claimed that any sort of association of Modi with the RCA’s affairs will badly affect the image of the cricket Board. It added that Modi’s continued…