BCCI on Wednesday turned down the plea of suspended IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi in the Supreme Court that the Board should reconstitute the disciplinary committee for probing charges of financial irregularities against him.
"It is not possible. It is in an advanced stage. It is a fact-finding and an internal committee. We cannot have external members in it," BCCI's counsel and senior advocate CS Sundaram told a Bench, comprising Justices J M Panchal and Gyan Sudha Mishra, which wanted the Board to explore the possibility of reconstituting the disciplinary committee.
"Can you reconstitute a disciplinary committee?" the Bench wanted to know from Board of Control for Cricket in Indian (BCCI) when Modi's counsel and senior advocate Ram Jethmalani repeatedly argued that there was a reasonable apprehension that Modi will not get a fair deal before the present committee which was biased against him.
Jethmalani said the people who had participated in the decision to issue showcause notices to Modi should not be a part of the disciplinary committee.
"I want people with a clean slate," he submitted and contended that the Chirayu Amin, who was involved in the decision to issue showcause notices and later replaced Modi as the IPL Commissioner, cannot be a member of the disciplinary committee.
Modi has approached the apex court challenging the July 15 judgement of the Bombay High Court which dismissed his plea to stay the proceedings by a BCCI-appointed disciplinary committee probing allegations of financial irregularities against him.
He has sought removal of Arun Jaitley and Amin from the three-member committee, which also has Jyotiraditya Scindya in it, contending that they are likely to be biased against him.
Jethmalani said he was only seeking a direction from the court that BCCI should appoint a retired judge of the apex court or the High Court or any senior advocate as members of the disciplinary committee but not those from the cricket board.
However, BCCI said it was not possible to include members for the committe from outside.
Jethmalani said the disciplinary committee was constituted under the provision of the Board's rule that required that the President of BCCI should be the chairman of the three-member committee.
However, Shashank Manohar, President of BCCI, had to recuse himself after Modi objected to his continuance and wanted to examine him as witness, he said adding Amin should also dissociate himself as he was involved in the decision to issue showcause notice to Modi on April 26, May 6 and May 31 this year.