SC clears decks for Lalit Modi takeover of RCA

SC clears decks for Lalit Modi takeover of RCA

The Supreme Court’s ruling on Wednesday to declare the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) election results by May 6, has cleared the decks for former Indian Premier League (IPL) commissioner Lalit Modi to take over as next RCA president.

Brushing aside the objection of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which expected the result to go in favour of Modi, a bench of Justices Anil R Dave and Shiva Kirti Singh directed the registry to send the results, in a sealed envelope, to its appointed observer Justice (retd) N M Kasliwal to declare the result.

The court, however, said that anyone aggrieved by the outcome of the elections may challenge it before an appropriate authority.

“Justice Kasliwal is expected to open the ballot on may 6,” said Amin Pathan, who has contested for the post of RCA vice president in Modi’s panel.

The elections had become contentious because Modi, who is living in self-exile in London, was in the fray for presidentship. Modi was slapped with a life ban on September 25 last year by the BCCI after its disciplinary committee found him guilty of  eight charges of irregularities in financial and administrative matters of the IPL. 

In Rajasthan, he landed in legal trouble over the sale and purchase of old havelies at the foothills of Amber near Jaipur.

Modi, meanwhile, hailed the decision of the apex court.

“Extremely grateful to honourable Supreme Court for allowing the opening of RCA elections ballots. Looking forward to results...,” tweeted Modi, and also thanked his fans.“Thank you 4 your continued support & well wishes during this trying period. Could not have done it without u all. Now final leg need 2win it.”

How Modi will operate sitting in London is the big question doing the rounds among sports fraternity but his supporters and co-workers have a clear set of instructions on this matter. Sources in the RCA said  apart from election panel, Modi has already constituted a separate team of his loyalists. Once he takes over as president, more people may be included in his core team. Sanjay Dixit, senior IAS officer who was RCA secretary and was suspended following a dispute with earlier RCA president C P Joshi, has also shifted his loyalty and is seen as a part of Modi’s new team.

Even before the RCA elections, which took place in Jaipur on December 19, victory of Lalit Modi and his panel was almost certain. Out of around 39 district cricket associations, around 34 associations voted and 29 of them came out in open support of Modi. Going by these calculations, Modi and his panel are likely to win by a handsome margin.

Later in December RCA elections ran into controversy over the allegation of fudging of the voters list. The elections were held under the supervision of former apex court judges Justice N M Kasliwal and Justice S P Pathak, who were appointed observers by the SC. The BCCI had challenged the Rajasthan Sports Act, 2005 allowing Modi to contest the RCA presidential election despite being banned for life by the Board.

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