HC allows BCCI to hold Special General Meeting on Lalit Modi

HC allows BCCI to hold Special General Meeting on Lalit Modi

The Delhi High Court today allowed the BCCI to hold its Special General Meeting (SGM) to consider the disciplinary committee's report on former IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi for alleged financial irregularities in the cricket league.

Justice V K Shali set aside the trial court's September 21 order restraining Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) from holding its SGM scheduled for tomorrow.
"So far as appeal of the BCCI is concerned, it is allowed," the court said.

The High Court also dismissed Modi's cross-appeal against the decision of the lower court which had declined to pass an interim order on his petition challenging the appointment of Sanjay Patel and Jagmohan Dalmiya in the BCCI by N Srinivasan.
"Appeal of Lalit Modi is dismissed for the reasons that the relief claimed by him is the same relief which he had already claimed in the main suit before the trial court....it will tantamount to a decree passed by the High Court," it said.

Modi's lawyers sought copy of the order on urgent basis saying they will file an appeal in the Supreme Court tomorrow.

While rejecting Modi's arguments questioning the appointment of Dalmiya and Patel, the court said Srinivasan continues to be the President of BCCI and he is also vested with some power to appoint them as functionaries of the Board. The BCCI had moved the High Court challenging the trial court's order restraining it from holding its SGM contending the lower court had no jurisdiction to pass such an order as the SGM is scheduled to be held in Chennai.

Modi, in his cross-appeal, had challenged the appointments of Patel as Secretary and Dalmiya as the interim chief of the cricket board in Srinivasan's place.

On September 21, the trial court had in an ex-parte order restrained BCCI from holding its SGM on Modi's plea challenging Patel's authority as BCCI Secretary in issuing the September two notices to him for considering the report of a three-member disciplinary committee comprising Arun Jaitley, Chirayu Amin and Jyotiraditya Scindia on September 25.

The trial court had also granted four days to BCCI, Patel and Dalmiya to file their responses on Modi's plea and posted the matter for September 30.

In his cross-appeal, Modi had contended the September 2 notice issued to him was without authority as Patel was not authorised and it was issued on the instructions of Srinivasan who, in the wake of IPL spot-fixing scam in which his son-in-law as an accused, has chosen not to perform the functions of BCCI President.

Modi was the IPL Chairman-cum-Commissioner during the first three editions of the tournament but was suspended immediately after the closing ceremony in 2010 on charges of financial irregularities in running the league as well as improper practices during the auction of two new teams before the third edition.

During the suspension, a three-member disciplinary committee, comprising Scindia and Jaitley along with president Srinivasan, was formed. But Srinivasan recused himself and the erstwhile IPL chairman Chirayu Amin was made a member.

Subsequently, Amin also recused himself and it became a two-member committee.
However by the time, Jaitley, who looked after the legal part, and Scindia, who looked into the charges of impropriety, submitted an exhaustive 400-page report, Srinivasan had stepped aside from discharging his functions as BCCI chief.

The High Court, while allowing BCCI to hold its special general meeting tomorrow, said " the decision of SGM is subject to the decision of the suit pending before the trial court.

While setting aside the trial court's restraint order, the court said the lower court judge is seized of the previous litigations filed by the parties and it is not proper for him to pass the ex-parte order against holding the special general meeting tomorrow.

The court also rejected the discrepancies pointed out by Modi's counsel in respect of the appointment of Patel as Secretary by Srinivasan, saying "it cannot be found fault with Patel's appointment..."

Further, the court rejected the argument questioning the maintainability of BCCI's appeal in the high court saying "....In extraordinary circumstances, the appeal is maintainable."

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