The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the poll observers to declare on May 6 the result of Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) election in which Lalit Modi had contested for the post of president. Modi is expected to win the election hands down, but there's nothing to celebrate for the London-based founding chairman of the IPL.
For starters, Modi is serving a life ban imposed by the BCCI, which found him guilty of several charges of indiscipline and professional misconduct. And if he is declared elected, the BCCI will — in all likelihood — suspend the RCA. The repercussions are many: the association stands to lose on the annual grant of Rs 27 crore (set to increase by nearly Rs 15 crore now that the ICC reforms have been ratified). No team from Rajasthan will be allowed to take part in the Ranji Trophy or, for that matter, any tournament or match conducted by the BCCI.
Senior counsel CA Sundaram, who represented the BCCI in the apex court, interpreted Wednesday's order for dna. "The honorable court has only said that the result be declared. It has also allowed the BCCI to go by the book," Sundaram told dna. The high-flying lawyer obviously refused to spell out his client's plan of action, but what the BCCI will do is anybody's guess. "I can say the BCCI got what it wanted on Wednesday," Sundaram added. When reminded that the BCCI's decision to suspend the RCA would hurt the interest of cricketers in the state, Sundaram cited the allegations against Modi. "He ran away to London. His passport has been impounded. The Enforcement Directorate is after him (for having allegedly committed foreign exchange violations). I think having him as (RCA) president would be a bigger disservice to cricket," he said.
In mid-December, BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel had shot off a strongly-worded letter to the association. "We wish to remind you that as per the BCCI rules and regulations, all the members, including RCA, are bound to follow the decision taken and directives issued in the interest of BCCI, especially those related to disciplinary proceedings," the letter read. "The RCA stands to lose its rights and privileges as BCCI member if the expelled administrator of BCCI is allowed to remain an office-bearer of one of your district units. Therefore, kindly comply to BCCI directives and report the same to us."
The RCA election was held on December 19 under the supervision of court-appointed observers, retired Supreme Court justices NM Kasliwal and SP Pathak. The result was to be announced on January 6, but several adjournments since then extended the suspense on Modi's return to the BCCI fold.
On Wednesday, a bench headed by justice AR Dave directed the court registry to send the votes polled by the 33 affiliated members of the RCA in a sealed envelope to Rajasthan where the results will be declared on May 6. The bench also rejected BCCI's objection to declare the result apprehending that the same might go in favour of Modi, saying that anyone aggrieved of the outcome of the elections can challenge it before an appropriate authority.