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Rediff.com  » Sports » Supreme Court to hear Lalit Modi petition on Oct 20

Supreme Court to hear Lalit Modi petition on Oct 20

September 23, 2010 21:12 IST

The Supreme Court on Thursday deferred till October 20 hearing of a plea by suspended IPL commissioner Lalit Modi seeking stay of an order of the Bombay High Court which dismissed his petition for reconstitution of a disciplinary committee.

A bench comprising justices J M Panchal and Gyan Sudha Misra said since the copy of the July 15 judgment of the high court is not available, it cannot pass any order and posted the matter for hearing on October 20.

Modi 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.

Modi has sought the removal of Arun Jaitley and Chirayu Amin from the three-member committee, which also has Jyotiraditya Scindya, contending that they are likely to be biased against him.

The committee is scheduled to examine one witness on Sunday.

Senior Advocate Ram Jethamalani, appearing for Modi, asked the bench to stay the proceedings of the committee till the copy of the judgment is supplied to the parties.

"Heavens are not going to fall if they (committee) do not examine the second witness on Sunday. In the interest of justice, I request that they should not proceed," he submitted before the bench which refused to entertain his plea at this stage.

Jethmalani submitted that the disciplinary committee is biased and not independent.

"We leave to this on the court to fix any committee. We are ready for any other committee. If they sit with us, we can amicably decide on it. We are ready for it," he said.

Jethmalani's submission was opposed by BCCI counsel and senior advocate C A Sundaram, who said the committee has very limited power.

"This committee can only make recommendation based on the materials and evidences. It cannot punish. Any action would be finally decided by the BCCI general body," he said, adding that there cannot be a separate rule for each individual.

Meanwhile, senior advocate Rohington Nariman, appearing for the committee, said that Modi first raised questions against the BCCI president, who recused himself, and now he is against Jaitley and Amin from the committee.

The Bombay High Court had dismissed the petition filed by Modi seeking reconstitution of the BCCI-appointed disciplinary committee. He had also challenged his suspension from the BCCI.

Modi had contended before the High Court that BCCI secretary N Srinivasan had launched "persecution" against him on the basis of media reports and complaints made by rank outsiders and "meddlesome interlopers" who are neither members of the Board, nor administrators.

In his petition before the apex court, Modi maintained that there should be a free and fair inquiry into all the allegations, including the conflict of interest against Srinivasan for owning Chennai Super Kings while being an officer-bearer of BCCI.

He said that the high court had summarily dismissed his petition in which he had sought an independent tribunal, preferably consisting of one or more retired judges of Supreme Court, be constituted to examine the allegations against him.

He submitted that one of the charges against him was that he holds a proxy in one of the franchisee.

The high court had refused to go into the merits of Modi's petition, saying the disciplinary committee itself could decide on its reconstitution.

Modi had said that he wanted a committee of independent persons and not of those who are members of BCCI as they would be biased against him.

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