The Indian Premier League being embroiled in controversies, its Governing Council's emergent meeting will take place here at 10 a.m. on Monday as scheduled.
A first-hand source told The Hindu that “the members will be presented [with] all details and at the most the council can recommend a plan of action against IPL Chairman Lalit Modi. But the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, invested with powers by the BCCI constitution, can suspend him from all his positions he holds in the IPL as well as the BCCI.”
It is learnt the government has sent a clear-cut message to the BCCI that Mr. Modi should not be associated with the national cricket body. On Thursday, Mr. Modi met Union Minister and International Cricket Council vice-president Sharad Pawar in New Delhi.
Four years ago, the then BCCI president, Mr. Pawar, first suspended Jagmohan Dalmiya for financial irregularities in the PILCOM (World Cup 1996) case and, following a report from a three-man enquiry committee ( of Pawar, Shashank Manohar and Chirayu Amin), he was expelled from the Board.
The BCCI president has the power to suspend Mr. Modi. According to a key by-law of the BCCI: “The president shall exercise superintendence over the office-bearers in the discharge of their duties generally and particularly in accordance with the general or special direction of the Board or the Working Committee. The president shall also exercise such functions and duties as may be enjoined on him personally by the Board or by the Working Committee.”
Another by-law says: “If any member or an associate member or any office-bearer or any vice-president of the Board refuses or neglects to comply with the provisions of the rules or is guilty of such conduct as the Board may consider likely to endanger the harmony or affect the reputation, stability or interest of the Board, such member or office-bearer or vice-president shall be liable to expulsion from the Board, specially convened for the purpose, provided that the resolution for expulsion is carried by a majority of 3/4th of the votes of the members present and voting.”
Mr. Modi is an elected vice-president of the BCCI.
Working Committee meeting
Even if the president does not opt to suspend him after the April 26 General Council meeting, the Working Committee may come into the picture on May 2. According to the BCCI constitution, “For the purpose of the Societies Registration Act, 1860, the Governing Body of the Board shall be the Working Committee.”
Last week, Mr. Manohar addressed a letter to Mr. Modi saying: “In view of the ongoing situation with regard to the functioning of the IPL and the various allegations levelled against the functioning of the IPL, it has become necessary to hold an Emergent Meeting of the Governing Council. Kindly issue notice to all the Governing Council Members for a meeting on 26/04/10 at 10 a.m. at BCCI Headquarters at Mumbai immediately.”
In his response to the letter, Mr. Modi said: “Whilst I agree the GC meeting is essential, it's my prerogative to call the same. Based on the past I have always consulted the president before calling the same. We finish the IPL season 3 [in] early morning of the 26th of April. In the light of all the allegations, I would like to prepare a detailed presentation on Each and EVERY one of them with facts, documents and procedures followed. For that I would be needing a few days and I propose we call the meeting on the 1st of May 2010. That being a Saturday — will allow all to be present and is a day before the Working Committee.
“Your recommendation to hold the meeting on 26th of April will make it impossible for me to present any of the facts as we are running at 200 miles an hour to ensure smooth implementation of the playoffs, which as you know have moved to Mumbai and further we are, for the first time, doing 3D production in the world. My team and me work over 20 hours a day to deliver the tournament and as such we really have no time to concentrate in preparation for the 26th.
“Therefore I propose to convene the meeting based on reasons given above on the 1st of May. We will begin from noon onwards and we will make arrangements at the Cricket Centre for the same. If any member has any other item they would like on the GC - please do forward the same to me asap [as soon as possible]. Agenda will follow shortly.”
In his email reply, Mr. Manohar said: “ …you have claimed that it is your prerogative to convene the meeting. It appears that you are unaware of the Constitutional provisions wherein the Hony. Secretary is the convener of all the meetings, including the meetings of the sub-committee. It is only as a matter of courtesy that I wrote to you to convene a meeting of the Governing Council on 26th April, 2010 as you are the Chairman of the IPL sub-committee expecting you to ask the Hony. Secretary to convene the meeting. However, as you did not convene the meeting, in spite of the fact that the issues relating to IPL were serious and emergent, I directly asked the Hony. Secretary to convene the Governing Council meeting for 26th April, 2010. Your request for postponing the meeting to 1st of May, 2010 cannot be granted as the issues are serious and reflect badly on the BCCI/IPL. You had time of 7 days to prepare your explanations as claimed by you. The media reports which are pouring in on a daily basis are affecting the reputation of this Board and hence the Governing Council Meeting cannot be postponed. The meeting of 26th of April will be held as scheduled as per the notice issued by the Hony. Secretary of the Board.”
Mr. Modi's reply was: “I disagree with you completely. The IPL has been given the powers by the general body to hold their own meetings and I am sorry to say the Hon. Secretary has never called a GC meeting since inception. All he is actually an ex-officio member of the GC as an office-bearer of BCCI and as he is a conflicted party who owns a team he has never [called] and can now too not call a GC meeting. If the meeting does go ahead on the 26th of April instead of 1st of May as I have asked will [be] deemed to be unofficial. I have not said the meeting will not take place and all I have said is the meeting will take place — and I want the time to prepare the agenda, circulate it and also make the documents available as per my mail below. As for you saying I had time — again you are misinformed as I just returned from Dubai last night [Tuesday] and was attending the ICC meeting which you asked me to attend on your behalf. Further as detailed in my email we have had to move the matches from Bangalore and also we have the playoffs and awards. We are working 24X7 and as such have had no time to prepare or will have time to do so till post 26th. I do not propose to attend any unauthorised meeting.”