Lalit Modi

Ranjit Mahanti

CONTROVERSIAL, former Indian Premiere League (IPL) Commissioner Lalit Kumar Modi, has been formally declared president of Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) on Tuesday. Modi was banned in September last year by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) after found guilty of committing acts of misconduct and indiscipline.

Fifty-year-old Modi, the first IPL commissioner has challenged the decision in court. Modi who is forcibly living London since four years was allowed to contest the RCA elections held on December 19 last year.  According to a Supreme Court order last week, the votes, in a sealed envelope, were opened under court observation on May 6. Out of a total 33 votes, Modi’s opponent Rampal Sharma earned just five.

“I am extremely happy that the Supreme Court has taken the right decision and allowed the due democratic process to go forward. We are hoping our group will win the elections,” Modi said after judge AR Dave passed the order last week.

Modi, best known for his stint as the Chairman and Commissioner of the IPL and the Chairman of the Champions League, between 2008 and 2010, he has also occupied the roles of Vice President of the BCCI between 2005 and September 2010, and Vice President of the Punjab Cricket Association. He is also the President and Managing Director of Modi Enterprises and the Executive Director of Godfrey Phillips India.

BCCI suspends RCA

Modi’s return as RCA president is not going to be easy. Legalities and the BCCI regulations are likely to stand in the way. Within hours of Modi being declared as the president of the RCA in Jaipur the BCCI has decided to indefinitely suspend RCA and appoint an ad-hoc body to run its cricket affairs. This is likely to trigger a new round of legal battle between the Board and Modi.

BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel wrote a letter and said the association was being banned as per Clause 32.7 of the Board’s constitution. The decision was taken by BCCI’s interim president Shivlal Yadav. According to the BCCI’s constitution, any affiliated unit defying the Board’s image can be suspended.

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