Monday, November 29, 1999

Modi files voluminous reply to BCCI chargesheet

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Mumbai, May 15 (IANS) Lalit Modi, the suspended Indian Premier League (IPL) Commissioner, Saturday submitted a voluminous reply to the chargesheet slapped on him by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) over alleged irregularities in the functioning of the cash-rich league.Modi's lawyer Mehmood M. Abdi submitted six cartons of documents, with over 9,000 pages, to BCCI Chief Administrative Officer Ratnakar Shetty at the Board headquarters here.Abdi said a team of eminent lawyers, including Ram Jethmalani and Harish Salve, prepared the reply.'It has been a teamwork and we are confident that we have been successful in preparing the reply.'The charges were based on allegations and gossip. The BCCI can never prove it. We are confident that all the charges against Modi will be dropped. In fact, BCCI president Shashank Manohar is a well-known lawyer and it will take him only a few hours to go through the reply. It can be done even today,' Abdi added.Asked about the contents of the reply, Abdi said: 'We cannot reveal anything about the documents. It is for you to impress upon the authorities (BCCI) and ask them to share the reply with you. But there are some interesting perspectives of the issues and controversies.''The showcause was of 35 pages. Our report (reply) is of 159 pages and there are around 8,500-9,000 pages of written documents along with it. Two sets have been prepared, one has been sent to Mr. Manohar and one to BCCI secretary Mr. N.Srinivisan. Professor (Ratnakar) Shetty has received the documents.''We have addressed all the charges. There is nothing left to be answered from our side. We want all the charges against Mr. Modi to be dropped and he should be reinstated as IPL chairman and commissioner.'Abdi said that Modi had asked for more documents to formulate his reply but BCCI could not provide them.'Mr. Modi has been writing to BCCI to supply the documents that they (BCCI) will rely on. In response, BCCI provided some documents and we came back to BCCI for more documents because there was nothing new in it. Two days back BCCI wrote back to rely on documents supplied.''Charges were made on Mr Modi's behavioural conduct based on hearsay and gossip. BCCI has not been able to substantiate it. Mr Modi told BCCI: 'I reserve the right cross examine about the allegations.'''He has even tried to explain the oral allegations,' said Abdi, who flashed a victory sign before leaving the BCCI headquarters.Shetty said he has received the documents.'We have not gone through the number and pages and BCCI will follow the procedures and duly respond.'

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