Once a golden boy of Indian cricket, former IPL chairman and commissioner Lalit Modi was Wednesday banned for life by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) from all its activities on charges of serious misconduct and indiscipline.
BCCI's decision came minutes after the Supreme Court rejected Modi's plea to put on hold the board's Special General Meeting (SGM) in Chennai.
At the SGM, chaired by BCCI president Narayanaswami Srinivasan, Modi was "found guilty of committing acts of serious misconduct and indiscipline, and therefore, in exercise of powers as per Regulation 32 of the Memorandum and Rules and Regulations of the Board," banned for life.
"Resolved that Mr. Lalit Modi is guilty of committing acts of serious misconduct and indiscipline, and therefore, in exercise of powers as per Regulation 32 of the Memorandum and Rules and Regulations of the Board, Mr. Lalit Modi is hereby expelled from the BCCI. He shall forfeit all his rights and privileges as Administrator.
He shall not in future be entitled to hold any position or office, or be admitted in any Committee or as any member or associate member of the Board," BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel said in a statement.
The SGM discussed the 134-page inquiry report submitted by the BCCI's special disciplinary committee, comprising senior vice-president Arun Jaitley and Jyotiraditya Scindia. Former IPL chairman Chirayu Amin was also a member of the committee but later recused himself.
The committee had detailed the alleged irregularities that Modi committed from the time the IPL's governing council approved the draft of the Invitation to Tender (ITT) in December 2009 - for adding two more teams to the league - to Modi's eventual suspension in April 2010.
In fact, it was the introduction of the Kochi franchise that spelt Modi's doom. The case of Kochi constituted three of the eleven charges pressed against Modi, including rigging bids, arm-twisting franchises and bringing the BCCI into disrepute through his comments on Twitter.
Modi remained unperturbed and defiant despite the ban. He said that the "ban is not going to stop me".
"Ban on me as predicted. Like I said not perturbed about it. Rather happy not to be sitting on same table as facilitators of march fixing. Only Time will show I am right. I have no reason to be remorse about this as I got to live and create my dream. Ban not going to stop me," tweeted Modi.
Modi told news channel Times Now from London that he is not going to sit quietly and watch BCCI president Narayanaswami Srinivasan destroy Indian cricket.
"To some extent, I am responsible for Srinivasan's vices but that doesn't mean I will sit back quietly and watch Srinivasan destroy Indian cricket. Yes, I made mistakes but I created the biggest brand of Indian cricket. I will bring up issues if he does anything wrong. I have learnt from my mistakes but Srinivasan is just opposite," he said.
"Now I can openly go after them. Till now they were all colleagues and friends. The time has come to unravel everything, take everything out of the box and put everything out in the public domain. All secrets will be out sooner than later," he said.
Modi said he will not run away and will fight with BCCI as the target.
"I am not going to run away. I will fight them. It gives me more of a resolve to fight them. Indian cricket needs cleansing. What happens is, if I don't toe their line, I am branded indisciplined," he said.
As a last ditch attempt to avoid the life-ban, Modi requested the BCCI to adjourn the SGM and also said that he was willing to appear before it through video conferencing. The pleas were not allowed.
The BCCI was determined to take a firm action against him and the Supreme Court also made things easy for the board members.
Declining to interfere in the affairs of the board, the apex court bench headed by Justice H.L. Gokhale said the "only thing about you (Modi) is that you are big and big money is involved". The court said it could not be expected to interfere with the internal functioning of the society, which the BCCI is.
Modi has contended that a Special General Meeting could only be called on the directions of the president and the apex cricketing body has no elected functional president at present.