Mumbai: In a big setback to suspended IPL chief Lalit Modi, the Bombay High Court on Thursday rejected his petition seeking an independent probe panel rather than face the BCCI’s disciplinary committee, which his lawyers had termed as “biased”.
The court had heard both parties on Wednesday and reserved it judgment, but after today’s verdict Modi will have to face the the BCCI disciplinary panel in Mumbai on Friday. The three-member panel was constituted on July 3 by the BCCI through a special general meeting.
Modi had moved the high court last week against the BCCI. In a petition filed, his lawyers accused the BCCI of bias and demanded that the discplinary committe should be “independent” and free of any bias.
The plea was heard in court on Wednesday and there were plenty of fireworks exchanged.
“It’s impossible to expect honest and impartial decision from the committee,” Modi’s lawyer Virag Tulzhapurkar told the court.
Modi also trained his guns specifically on BCCI’s secretary N Srinivasan, saying he had no right to reject his replies to the BCCI’s show cause notices as he himself is biased.
Similarly, Chirayu Amin, a member of the committee and acting Chairman of IPL, too had a personal bias against Modi, said advocate Tulzhapurkar.
Even Jaitley should not be on the panel because he, along with Amin, was part of the IPL’s governing council which “ratified” Srinivasan’s opinion that there was prima facie evidence to initiate disciplinary inquiry against Modi, he said.
But the BCCI demanded that Modi’s petition be dismissed immediately as the hearing against him is being carried out under the constitution of the board.
However, when division bench of Justice B H Marlapalle and Justice Roshan Dalvi asked whether BCCI rules provide for an “independent” disciplinary committee, Modi’s lawyer said that it was not so.
The lawyer for the BCCI, A Sundaram, argued that the High Court could not hear this petition as the BCCI was a society and this was an internal matter. Modi was its member and he knew its rules, he said.
Sundaram also said that the decision to initiate inquiry and constitute disciplinary committee was that of the general body and not the IPL governing council.