17 Jul 2010

No relief for Modi against IPL allegations for the time being: High Court

Holding that no case was made out before it to interfere at this stage, the Bombay High Court in a recent decision dismissed the writ petition filed by Former IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi who alleged that "there would not be any fairness and transparency in the proceedings of the Disciplinary Committee and continuation of the Disciplinary Committee with [certain] respondents [***] would be against the principles of natural justice and fair-play" in the allegations leveled against him with respect to the conduct of Indian Premier League.

The Disciplinary Committee had been constituted by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to inquire into various allegations against Mr. Modi. However the constitution of the same was objected to by him alleging that certain members of the Committee had acted against him on previous occasions and thus fairness could not be expected in the conduct of the inquiry. The High Court, however, was not impressed. Holding that "nothing stops the petitioner in challenging the constitution of the Disciplinary Committee along with the challenge he may raise against the final order of punishment, if any", such being a well settled legal position in terms of the various precedents, the High Court observed that "it is for the Disciplinary Committee and the Board to address the requirements of Rule 1(q) of the Rules and Regulations and the issue of recusal on moral grounds or with an intention to act in fairness or for any other grounds" and left such decision to the members of the Committee.

Being of this view, the High Court dismissed the petition, directing the Disciplinary Committee to form a view on the allegations made by Mr. Modi, leaving this questions open for examination in future. Mr. Modi was represented by two senior advocates being instructed by prominent law firm Wadia Ghandy and Co. whereas the side of BCCI and its constituents was also represented by eminent senior advocates who were instructed by the law firm Thakore Jariwala & Associates.

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