An article in Wednesday’s edition (7th September) of that much respected newspaper, the Times of India, which reported the BCCI’s responses to an Indian Parliamentary Committee on alleged financial irregularities, certainly made for interesting reading.
The headline read:
“Can’t blame all IPL lapses on Modi, admits BCCI Secretary, Srinivasan”.
For 18 months, the BCCI, largely through the activities of Mr. Srinivasan, have been given free rein to throw countless, false and unsubstantiated allegations in my direction, without any level of accountability. These have included allegations of singular responsibility for contract transactions and even erroneous claims of personal interests in IPL franchises and the Sri Lankan Premier League. All of them, as you well know by now, constantly and strenuously refuted by me with support from substantiated and irrefutable evidence to qualify my position.
But finally, within the Times article was the first public glimpse of the reality. The BCCI - this previously unrestrained aggressor - was apparently taken to task by the Standing Committee and the grudging acceptance of culpability is an acknowledgement that points the way to the whole truth behind a poisonous and personally damaging affair.
The most revealing piece of information was the reference to an exchange that confirmed the BCCI had ultimate sanction and approval. The Times report states that:
“... BCCI president Shashank Manohar - "when closely questioned by the committee" - admitted that the cheques were signed not by Modi but by Srinivasan, who was the BCCI treasurer, and subsequently by M P Pandove, who replaced Srinivasan."
For the last 18 months, the BCCI have said they had no knowledge of what was going on and that everything was unilaterally my responsibility! The whole strength of their series of allegations against me is formed on this premise and is confirmed in the BCCI’s first Show Cause notice to me on 26th April, last year. The second paragraph of a 34 page document, signed by Honorary Secretary, N. Srinivasan, which makes a series of false and unsubstantiated allegations, states:
“It has also come to the notice of the President of BCCI that several contracts have been executed by you as the Chairman of IPL either without authority of the Governing Council of IPL or which have not been brought to the knowledge of the Governing Council.”
(For reference and complete clarity, this notice and my full, unedited response to all points is available to view on this website under “LKM legal”.)
Yes, I was Chairman of the IPL and answerable to the BCCI board. Yes, I negotiated deals, as was my remit on behalf of the IPL. But at all times the IPL committee and the BCCI board - including those with legal and financial responsibilities - were fully appraised of the details, had the power of sanction and ultimate responsibility.
Since those days, I’ve had to endure a personal vendetta and trial by innuendo with unsubstantiated allegations of illegal or fraudulent activity about me constantly thrown into the public arena. It is clearly significant that the BCCI has finally been forced to acknowledge they signed off everything that happened. But there remains the unfair, damaging and unproven insinuation within their admission that they were unwittingly party to illegal or fraudulent activity. The longer this persists, the more difficult it becomes for me to set the record straight and repair my reputation. It should not be allowed to darken this whole affair any further.
The suggestion that I ‘took them for a ride’ as Mr. Srinivasan put it, is frankly ludicrous and if they truly believe that to be the case, they are surely unfit for office. To claim it as their only defence means their collective incompetence is surely proven and I challenge them to resign en-bloc.
Over the past 18 months, I have consistently maintained that the BCCI have had full and unadulterated knowledge of the facts. Finally, in the Times of India’s report, there was an acknowledgement of the truth - a truth that’s been squeezed from administrators who, until now, had remained unaccountable for their stream of un founded allegations against me and who should no longer be allowed to skip from one groundless excuse to another.
To view the Show Cause notices and all information relating to this issue, including full responses to all allegations, click here.