Srinivasan’s intentions in calling SGM questioned

June 23rd, 2010 - 10:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, June 23 (IANS) As Narayanaswamy Srinivasan, secretary of the Indian cricket Board, cleared the decks for the expulsion of Lalit Modi, the lawyer of the suspended Indian Premier League chairman Wednesday termed the move to convene a Special General Meeting (SGM) July 3 illegal, dubbing the country’s apex cricket body a “khap panchayat” (caste council).
Modi’s lawyer Mehmood Abdi questioned the convening of the board’s SGM by Srinivasan, saying the “ratification of his (Srinivasan) decision of referring the charges against Modi contained in the three showcause notices to the Discplinary Committee of the BCCI for further proceedings is only a cover up for inherent illegality committed by the secretary.”

In a statement here, Abdi accused the Board of overlooking Modi’s charges against Srinivasan and sweeping them under the carpet.

“Now it is not a Lalit Modi and Srinivasan fight but evidence of the manner in which the country’s premier sports body is being administered. Complaints making serious charges against the secretary have been made yet these are being swept under the carpet.”

“Whereas, President BCCI has recused himself from the matter, Secretary BCCI, despite being in an utterly questionable position, is calling the shots. Best of luck to the khap panchayat of BCCI,” Abdi said in his statement.

Abdi said the SGM was just an illegal exercise by Srinivasan as under the Board rules, the secretary can issue a show cause or initiate further action on the reply only after consulting the president.

“When the BCCI president, an eminent lawyer, had the grace to recuse himself from the matter, how could the secretary decide to refer the matter to the disciplinary committee on his own and seek post facto approval of his decision by getting the General Body to ratify? It is like putting the cart before the horse.

“The subjective dissatisfaction of the secretary with the replies of Modi to the three show cause notices surpasses every yardstick of fair play and blatantly violates the principles of natural justice. Lalit Modi raised a serious issue and expressed pronounced apprehension about the secretary’s fairness and bias against him. Therefore, Srinivasan had no business to take a decision on whether sufficient cause existed to refer the matter to the disciplinary committee.”

“He has entered the fray and taken a conscious decision to refer the matter to the disciplinary committee. In doing so, Srinivasan has exhibited extreme impropriety and violated natural justice. The decision of Srinivasan to refer the matter to the disciplinary committee is, therefore, bad in law and amenable to judicial review,” Abdi said.

“Asking the general body of the BCCI to ratify an illegal decision is very different from asking the general body of the BCCI to take a lawful decision. Srinivasan, in the circumstances, could (and in fact ought to) have convened a meeting of the general body and left it to decide whether there was anything which survived to be referred to the disciplinary committee. This would have been lawful, correct and proper. Taking an illegal decision and then convening a meeting of the general body for ratifying it is not only unfair, but it is also neither appropriate nor desirable. By his involvement Mr. Srinivasan has infected the decision-making process,” Abdi maintained.

Abdi said Modi’s demand for recusal of both BCCI president Shashank Manohar and Srinivasan was based on the premise of whether there exists sufficient material to refer the matter to the disciplinary committee or to let the general body decide whether such material exists.

“The non-recusal and circumvention of rules and set procedure by Mr.Srinivan vindicates the apprehensions of Lalit Modi,” Abdi added.

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