BCCI answerable to the nation on IPL: Gill (Second Intro Roundup)April 22nd, 2010 - 11:03 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, April 22 (IANS) Sports Minister M.S.Gill said the Indian Premier League (IPL) is the creation of Indian cricket board and it is answerable to the nation even as former India captain Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi brought some sanity to the no-holds-barred debate by advising Lalit Modi to attend the Governing Council meeting Monday for seeking time to prepare his case.
As the income-tax and Enforcement Directorate (ED) continued their searches and seizures of documents from IPL franchisee offices across the country, charges and counter-charges between the cricket board president Shashank Manohar and Modi vitiated the atmosphere. Manohar accused the IPL chief of selectively leaking private e-mails and breaching the confidentiality clause in the franchise contract through social networking site Twitter.
Searches were conducted in Kolkata, Delhi (in the offices of GMR group that owns Delhi Daredevils) and Pune - in the office of the Sahara group that won the Pune bid for the new IPL team that will play from next year, the other franchisee being Kochi over which Shashi Tharoor resigned as central minister last week.
Modi was grilled by the ED for the second successive day mainly on the process of awarding the television broadcasting rights and the media contracts to Multi Screen Media (MSM) and World Sports Group (WSG). The investigation zeroed in on the $80 million facilitation money paid by MSM to WSG.
The IPL imbroglio figured in the Rajya Sabha, too, and replying to the debate over his ministry’s working, Gill said the IPL is a creation of the cricket board and it should answer questions posed to it. At the same time, he said, “the ministry has to lose its passivity vis-Ã -vis cricket.”
Pataudi, a highly regarded sporting idol who was the country’s cricket captain in the ’60s and ’70s and is now a member of the IPL Governing Council, is clear that if Modi skips Monday’s meeting, he will surely be out.
“If he doesn’t come to the meeting, I suspect the BCCI will take a very strict view. Lalit is playing very hard to get. I am not sure what he is up to,” Pataudi told NDTV.
“But if he appears before the Governing Council and asks for some more time to present his case, I think he should be given 3-4 days. We all know that he is busy with the IPL and he should be given some time.”
Asked if Modi will be voted out, Pataudi said the question of voting does not arise as he will simplay be removed.
The senior board members made it amply clear that Modi will be asked to quit at Monday’s meeting.
Modi, however, is equally vehement in saying that he would either resign or attend the meeting and challenged the validity of board secretary N. Srinivasan calling the meeting, saying he was an interested party as the owner of a franchise.
The usually reticent Pataudi tried to put things in perspective when he said the Governing Council was as much responsible for the crisis as Modi was because it did not take enough interest in the business affairs of the highly popular product.
“It has been a failure of the Council. We should have been aware of what was happening. The fact that we didn’t question anything is because we were carried away with how well everything was going,” he said. “I saw the crowds, the IPL was very popular. Only the dirt attached to it is sad.”
Blaming the entire Governing Council, Pataudi said the rumbling started over his style of functioning last year when a contract was changed and that was the time the council members started getting a little bit aware. Pataudi also said there is a clash of interest if board office-bearers own IPL teams, but was in favour of former cricketers having stakes in the franchisees.
“I think there is a conflict of interest in board secretary N. Srinivasan (chairman of Indian Cements that owns Super Kings) having stakes in franchisees. But he (Srinivasan) took the approval of the board and it is above board,” he said.
Pataudi feels that if Modi is ousted, a two to three member committee should be set up by the BCCI to run the Twenty20 league.
The income-tax officials in Kolkata are stated to have found incriminating evidence from the offices of Kolkata Knight Riders, whose primary owner is Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan, and the Cricket Association of Bengal.
The probe by the Directorate of I-T Investigation was on the legality of money transfers from tax havens like Mauritius and Cayman Islands to buy the franchise and the players through auctions that went into making IPL one of the world’s richest sporting events and a magnet for international cricketers.
“We’ve found incriminating evidence,” Indian Revenue Service Deputy Director Akhilendu Jadhav said. “We needed to have a look at certain transactions and we have found whatever we were looking for.”
Board president Shashank Manohar said he had advised Modi not to go public on the holdings of all the franchisees as the IPL Kochi threatened legal action against the board after he had tweeted the ownership details.
“After the names were leaked, I get a communication from (Vivek) Venugopal (partner in Rendezvous) around midnight saying that there is a Confidentiality Clause in the agreement, which had been signed between the board and them and there is a serious breach of obligation on part of the board,” Manohar said.
“I said the issue is complicated and needs detailed deliberations and has legal implications and hence it should be discussed and considered by the Governing Council meeting in Mumbai. The other members of the governing council also agreed with me and so did Modi.”
- Pataudi restores sanity as tax probe widens net to include Sahara (Intro Roundup) - Apr 22, 2010
- Modi committed major irregularities: Abdullah - Jun 25, 2010
- Modi's lawyer terms BCCI 'khap panchayat' - Jun 23, 2010
- Lalit Modi mulls quitting, but only after he has his say - Apr 21, 2010
- IPL-Gate: Modi likely to move petition in Bombay High Court against GC meeting - Apr 23, 2010
- If Modi shuns council, BCCI would treat him harshly: Pataudi - Apr 22, 2010
- Widened IPL probe takes tax officials to Sahara offices (Roundup) - Apr 22, 2010
- Chirayu Amin IPL interim chief, Modi chargesheeted on five counts (Roundup) - Apr 26, 2010
- Amin is IPL interim chairman; Manohar assures fair Modi trial (Lead) - Apr 26, 2010
- Modi slams BCCI president for Sahara's walkout - Feb 04, 2012
- IPL governing council meet as scheduled: BCCI chief - Apr 22, 2010
- Manohar did not allow Modi to reveal ownership of all IPL franchisees - Apr 21, 2010
- No misconduct by Srinivasan on Chennai IPL franchise: Manohar - Apr 22, 2010
- Manohar accuses Modi of violating 'confidentiality' clause - Apr 22, 2010
- BCCI to see how IPL teams can retain players - Apr 26, 2010
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