On Thursday, Lalit Kumar Modi was happy for two reasons. And the former IPL chairman made his joy public with this tweet: “It’s 24 years today with my gorgeous wife@Minallalitmodi & good to hear Hon Rajasthan high court staying my Ban imposed by BCCI MAFIA.”
The BCCI had, on September 25, expelled and banned Modi for life. According to the board’s decision, Modi can’t take part in the activities of the BCCI, any of its member units, constituents and affiliates. The Nagaur District Cricket Association, which is a member of the Rajasthan Cricket Association, challenged this in the Rajasthan high court. Modi, who no longer lives in India, is still president of the Nagaur DCA.
“The Nagaur DCA challenged the BCCI’s decision along with the provision of Article 25 (b) of the RCA constitution, which mandates a ban if ordained by the BCCI,” a legal luminary from the Modi camp said. He didn’t want to be named.
The Rajasthan high court, he said, gave interim relief to Modi on the ground that the RCA is governed by the provisions of the Rajasthan Sports Act, 2005, and specifically the eligibility clauses laid down in Section 15 of the Act read with its Schedule C.
“The next hearing is after four weeks. The BCCI can move for vacation of stay. If such an application is moved, the court will be bound to hear it within 14 days of such an application being filed,” the source added.
But the petition, he said, is on a firm footing as the Supreme Court observer, Justice NM Kasliwal (a former judge of the apex court) has, in the past, established this principle in previous RCA elections. The BCCI can’t violate a Rajasthan state legislation.
This effectively means that if all goes well, Modi will be free to contest the RCA elections this year.
“The polls are in December. And Modi has already joined hands with Sanjay Dixit, the former RCA secretary. Modi and Dixit, an IAS officer and principal secretary to the Rajasthan government, used to be friends before they turned foes. But they are together again,” another source in the Modi camp said.
But Modi is in London. “So what if he’s away? What are we here for? We will file his nominations (for RCA president) and get a proposer and seconder.”
Truth is Modi still enjoys a lot of clout in the RCA. Current president and Union minister CP Joshi is no longer on a firm footing in the RCA. In fact, locals say he is never interested in the association’s affairs. “Of the 19 matches that have taken place here in the last year (IPL, CLT20 and Wednesday’s ODI), Joshi may have spent a total of 19 minutes in the stadium. No one wants him to continue,” the source added.
And given that Modi and Dixit have joined hands again, it will be tough for Joshi to retain power.