Mumbai: An Indian Premier League’s governing council meeting began on Monday without chairman Lalit Modi, who was suspended hours earlier by the national cricket board amid allegations of corruption within the lucrative Twenty20 competition.
Shashank Manohar, the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, announced Modi’s suspension late Sunday, after Chennai beat Mumbai in the IPL final.
Manohar said Modi’s “alleged acts of individual misdemeanors” had “brought a bad name to the administration of cricket and the game itself.”
Indian lawmakers have demanded a parliamentary inquiry into claims that IPL clubs had been sold for millions of dollars without accounting for the source of the funds.
Manohar said in a statement that Modi had been given 15 days to show why “disciplinary action should not be taken against him.”
“I waited for the IPL to conclude in order to respond to the situation as I did not want the event to be disrupted in any manner,” Manohar said.
Manohar said Modi had been suspended from participating in the operation of the IPL, the cricket board or any of its committees.
Modi is a vice president of the BCCI and also heads the fixtures committee that decides the venues and itinerary of international matches in India. He attended an International Cricket Council meeting in Dubai last week in place of Manohar.
Modi was earlier asked by the BCCI to attend the IPL governing council meeting, but he was adamant that the meeting be deferred to May 1 and that he alone was empowered to call for such a meeting.
But Modi changed course on Sunday and said he would chair the governing council meeting and discuss all allegations against him. He demanded that the charges against him be made in writing and with proof, which media reports said forced the BCCI chief to suspend him immediately after the IPL final on Sunday night.
The controversy has heightened amid investigations by income tax officials into the accounts of the Indian cricket board and the IPL teams. Federal finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said income tax authorities were already investigating the sources and channels of funding of the IPL team owners.
The controversy erupted after Modi revealed details about the ownership of a club that is set to join an expanded 10-team league next season, questioning why a 25% stake was given to a group that included a friend of India’s junior foreign minister, Shashi Tharoor.
Tharoor, a former United Nations diplomat, resigned amid allegations of corruption in the bidding for a team at the auction last month, when a group made a successful bid of more than $330 million for the Kochi franchise.
It was alleged that the shares were really for Tharoor.
Tharoor said he did help put together the winning investment group, but only because he wanted to bring a team to the state of Kerala, part of which he represents in Parliament.