Modi’s lawyers want retired judge in BCCI panel

July 28th, 2010 - 1:23 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 27 (IANS) Suspended Indian Premier League (IPL) commissioner Lalit Modi’s lawyers Tuesday demanded the removal of Chirayu Amin and Arun Jaitely from the disciplinary panel of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), and the appointment of a retired supreme court judge in the panel.

At the second hearing of the disciplinary committee, which lasted over three-and-a-half hours, Modi’s lawyers debated on the issue of recusal of the two members from the disciplinary committee.

Modi has maintained that Amin, IPL’s interim chairman, and Jaitley, governing council member of the league, would be biased against him during the disciplinary proceedings. The third member of the committee is union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia.

Modi has been charged on several counts ranging from financial irregularities to bid-rigging as chairman of the cash-rich IPL.

“The core issue of recusal of two members from the panel was debated. Our lawyers argued the case. The BCCI will be allowed to come out with a rejoinder,” Modi’s counsel Mehmood Abdi told reporters after the hearing.

“A retired Supreme Court judge must be there in the committee. We have grave concern about the BCCI’s stance. If they have already decided, then what’s the point in all their meetings? Whosoever is doing this is hurting BCCI’s cause more,” Abdi said.

Abdi said the next meeting of the committee has been scheduled for Aug 1 here.

“The meeting has been scheduled for a Sunday considering that the parliament session is going on and taking into account the convenience of the lawyers,” Abdi said.

At the meeting, Modi’s lawyers also sought a number of documents from the BCCI related to the IPL and the Board’s meetings.

The BCCI in a statement said: “Mr. Modi has also sought a copy of the amended agreement between BCCI and Sony MSM. His counsel argued that this agreement is relevant for the purposes of his preparation of his defence in the main case as also the application for recusal filed by him. The BCCI has agreed to provide a copy of this agreement to the counsel for Mr. Modi on the condition that this document and its contents shall be used only for the purposes of this enquiry and the proceedings arising out of this enquiry and for no other purposes.

“The reason for this secrecy is that in the agreement signed by Sony-MSM contains a confidentiality clause and a limited waiver has been given to BCCI to limit the use of this document for Mr. Modi only for the purposes of this enquiry.”

Modi again skipped the meeting and his lawyer Venkatesh Dhond pointed out that due to security concerns it was not possible to tell when Modi could present himself before the committee.

Modi will now be available through video conferencing and if the situation with regard to threat perception changes, he would make himself available to the committee.

Modi’s counsel Abdi said that his absence wont affect the hearing process.

“In the last meeting we had given reason to the BCCI about his (Modi) absence and the Board has accepted that. We feel his absence won’t affect the proceedings because I am here to represent him. It will be decided if he can come later depending on the situation,” Abdi said.

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