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Modi took 24 luxury watches free: BCCI

Last updated on: September 29, 2010 21:01 IST

Lalit Modi's fall from grace was complete on Wednesday when he was ousted from the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

Chirayu Amin replaced him as Indian Premier League chairman after the BCCI reconstituted the T20 league's governing council at its Annual General Meeting in Mumbai.

Rajeev Shukla took Amin's place as BCCI vice-president from Central Zone.

"He [Modi] is out of the Board. He cannot write now 'IPL Commissioner/Chairman Suspended'," BCCI president Shashank Manohar declared while briefing newspersons after the AGM.

There was more to Modi's woes as the BCCI revealed more financial irregularities by him.

Lalit Modi"I can tell you an instance, which, according to me, 100 per cent proves the criminality, which I found out five days earlier and yesterday I got the evidence for that.

"For the IPL games, three security trucks were hired and a contract was entered into with Visual Impact, a company supplying the trucks for eight years. For the first year, they were to be paid five crore and from the next year they were to be paid 6.5 crore.

"About five days earlier, a person came to our office and told us, 'Sir, the trucks were hired from us for 1.5 crore. We have been paid 70 lakh and the balance 80 lakh is not paid, so can you help us out?' So we asked him to give the invoice and all, which he gave to us."

Manohar added: "Yesterday that person from Visual Impact came and I asked him all these questions. So, finally, he has given to me in writing that 'Sir I am willing to refund 3.5 crores'.

But the most astonishing allegation against Modi was embezzlement of 24 watches of Swiss luxury watch brand Bandelier, priced between Rs 45,000 to 200,000.

"Now the Bandelier watches... a contract was made and those people have sent us a mail through Professor Shetty saying that 'we suffered a huge loss because of our contract with the IPL. We were able to sell only 35 watches out of which 24 were taken free by Modi which were not paid for.'  

"We have that mail and we can show it to you," Manohar said.

After being suspended as IPL chairman in April, Modi is being investigated for financial irregularities by BCCI's disciplinary committee.

Manohar said Modi has broken the trust placed in him by the Board with his shady dealings.

"You can't say that all persons are like Modi and that allegations may come up against the new chairman. Basically, organisations function on the honesty of the people, and organisations also function on faith; so you may have any system in place, but if any person is dishonest the procedures and systems won't work."

Harish Kotian