Lalit’s fight with Srini continues

Former IPL chief Lalit Modi has made a sensational allegation in his latest response to Enforcement Directorate that former BCCI president N Srinivasan’s actions cost the cricketing body a whopping Rs 2,882.04 crore.

In his 76-page defence to a 54-page showcause notice on irregularities in awarding media rights of IPL, Modi declined to take responsibility for the actions and sought to shift the blame to Srinivasan and others.

The latest reply filed on April 30 was in response to the showcause notice on the Rs 425 crore facilitation fee paid by MSM Singapore to WSG Mauritius. In this issue, notices were issued to 14 people that included Srinivasan and then COO of IPL Sundar Raman.

After recording statements of several officials of BCCI, Sony, WSG and others, the ED said Modi was “actively involved” in the negotiations on media rights. The ED complaint has also spoken about Modi trying to circumvent procedures to help WSG Mauritius get facilitation fee, which agencies are investigating whether it went to Modi’s coffers.

In the written response prepared by his lawyers that was posted on his website late Monday night, Modi claimed that Srinivasan reduced the number of IPL matches, gave up free commercial time of 150 second per match as well as theatre rights to help MSM.

According to Modi, BCCI lost Rs 1,255.44 crore due to reducing number of matches, Rs 869.60 crore due to loss caused giving commercial exploitation of commercial time, Rs 560 crore by giving up entertainment rights and another Rs 197 crore for giving theatrical rights. Modi arrived at these figures using his own calculations.

Srinivasan could not be reached for his comments on the fresh allegations. While recording his statement with ED in July 2010, Srinivasan said that Modi handled the media rights issue on his own and the IPL Governing Council had no role in it.

Modi, in a post in his website, claimed the ED has not found any “misdemeanour on my part” and “concluded responsibility in BCCI was collective rather than individual”. He said 16 show cause notices were served on him and he has replied to every single one.

Modi’s fight with Srinivasan is not new, as both had crossed swords earlier also. However, in earlier responses to ED notices, Modi had not made such allegations though he had put the onus on Srinivasan for the irregularities in other issues like receiving performance deposits from franchise deposit.

(An edited version appeared in Deccan Herald on June 24, 2015)

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