Here is the rise and fall of Lalit Modi in Indian cricket over a period of two decades mediated by an intricate network of politicians, cricket administrators and businessmen...
First link with cricket. Becomes pan-India director of ESPN on 10-year contract. Sushma Swaraj’s husband Swaraj Kaushal is already Lalit Modi’s lawyer.
Joins the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association. Thrown out within a year on bribery charges.
Vasundhara Raje becomes Chief Minister of Rajasthan. He uses his wife’s family friendship with her to get into Rajasthan Cricket Association under the name Lalit Kumar. Becomes president of RCA.
Rajasthan government takes over RCA, Modi becomes chairman of RCA. Meanwhile, Sharad Pawar, N. Srinivasan and Co. take charge at BCCI. Modi inducted into BCCI working committee. Soon elevated to vice-president.
Subhash Chandra starts Indian Cricket League or ICL.
BCCI empowers Lalit Modi to start Indian Premier League or IPL. First IPL team auction held. Later, ED would question if he told winning bidders how much to bid by revealing bid amounts. This is the year Modi invests Rs. 11 crore in Niyant Heritage Hotels, owned by Dushyant Singh, son of Vasundhara Raje.
In these two years, IPL grows rapidly. Many of Modi’s acts during this period come under ED scrutiny. For eg, did MSM, formerly Sony Entertainment, pay $80 million to World Sports Group to back out of contract? Did Modi get a $25 million cut from this? Did he use this to buy a jet? Did his wife invest Rs. 10 crore in Rajasthan-based Indian Heritage Hotels through a Mauritius-based company?
IPL expands to include more teams. Modi tries to block Kochi Tuskers’ bid because he is allegedly keen to back a Videocon-backed bid. He tweets about Shashi Tharoor’s then-girlfriend Sunanda Pushkar having an interest in the team. Shashi Tharoor is forced to resign as Minister of State for External Affairs. The ED starts investigating Modi and the cases pile up. Sushma Swaraj’s daughter Bansuri is Modi’s lawyer.
Modi removed from IPL. ED files eight charges. Modi flees country. Passage to London smoothed by Vasundhara Raje’s e-mail to Keith Vaz, British MP, which she requests is kept secret from Indian government. Modi passport revoked.
On Swaraj Kaushal’s request, Modi mails Keith Vaz asking for an admission in Sussex college for Sushma Swaraj’s nephew.
Modi wants to go to Portugal, ostensibly to visit wife hospitalised there. Sushma Swaraj writes to UK government, requesting for letter of passage for Modi. Two months later, the same hospital group, Champalimaud, signs an MoU with Rajasthan government. Meanwhile, Delhi High Court sets aside Modi’s passport revocation. Government does not appeal.
British newspaper Sunday Times does an exposé of Keith Vaz’s favours for Lalit Modi. Indian media picks up story. Skeletons tumble out.
(Compiled by Raghunath, Srinivasan Ramani and Vaishna Roy)