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Modi represented by lawyers at BCCI disciplinary hearing

Last updated on: July 16, 2010 14:32 IST

Suspended Indian Premier League commissioner Lalit Modi, who is abroad, did not attend Board of Control for Cricket in India's Disciplinary Committee hearing on Friday and left the job of representing him before the three-member panel to his legal counsel.

Modi's attorney, Mehmood Abdi, accompanied by three other lawyers, said before going into the meeting with the BCCI panel that his camp would raise the issue of recusal of interim IPL chairman Chirayu Amin and Arun Jaitley from the committee.

"We are here to discuss the recusal issue as per the Bombay high court order yesterday [Thursday]. We have not received a copy of the order yet. After receiving the copy we will take a decision about asking for a new date of hearing from the BCCI," Abdi told reporters outside the BCCI headquarters.

On Thursday, the Bombay high court refused to grant any relief to Modi and left the issue of reconstituting the disciplinary panel on the members.

The division bench of Justices B H Marlapalle and Roshan Dalvi dismissed Modi's plea seeking reconstitution of the panel and cleared the deck for disciplinary proceedings against him to commence.

However, the court also indicated that the final finding can be challenged by Modi and he can even raise the issue of constitution of the committee at that point.

Modi's objection to the committee was that it would be biased against him and he had sought that the panel be made up of independent persons, preferably retired Supreme Court judges.

But the division bench said that as per BCCI rules, "Disciplinary committee has limited powers.... it is only required to enquire into charges and submit the final report to the board. The board is the final decision-making body."

Modi had objected to Amin and Jaitley remaining on the panel.

Modi's lawyer, Virag Tulzhapurkar, said during the hearing of the petition that Amin has a "personal bias" against Modi, whereas Jaitley was on the IPL governing council which "ratified" formation of committee.

"So the decision of the committee is a foregone conclusion," he had argued.

But the court said that it was leaving the decision to these two persons whether they should withdraw from the panel on "moral grounds" and "it would not be proper for the court to interfere" now.

In his petition, Modi had sought suspension of the whole disciplinary proceedings.

But in view of his July 6 letter to the BCCI seeking reformation of the panel, court said that it would not consider other issues raised by him.

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