October 21st 2013: The court Ms. Ruby Alka Gupta, learned additional District Judge - 02 at the Patiala House Courts New Delhi has held in its order obtained on October 19th 2013 that the suit filed by Mr Lalit Modi in February 2013 is maintainable.
It may be recalled that Mr Modi had filed a suit in February 2013 when the Disciplinary proceedings were being conducted against him by a committee of the BCCI comprising of Mr Arun Jaitley, Mr Chirayu Amin and Mr Jyotiraditya Scindia.
In his Suit Mr Modi had complained that the committee was in fact biased and was working with a predetermined mind set. According to Mr Modi relevant and important parts of the minutes of the Governing Council meeting dated 25.6.2010 relating to the complaint made by the Kochi franchisee were fraudulently suppressed from him and such minutes showed that in fact Mr Jaitley was canvassing the case of Kochi franchisee was a direct witness to the complaint and that such suppression of information was clearly a ground for disqualification of Mr. Jaitley from acting as an adjudicator.
The unnecessary haste in which the disciplinary proceedings were wrapped up without allowing Mr. Lalit Modi any chance to present his case before the enquiry panel was in fact an attempt to circumvent the judicial pronouncement of Mr. Arun Jaitley’s involvement in the Kochi franchisee dispute, which could have led to his disqualification as a member of the enquiry Panel said Mehmood Abdi, General Counsel and Constituted Attorney of Lalit Modi in a press release today. However, with the order of Patiala house court now all issues including issue of personal bias of Mr. Jaitley in BCCI enquiry panel probing allegations against Mr. Lalit Modi are now intact and open for judicial review and intervention added Abdi
The other issues that Mr Lalit Modi had further complained about in the said suit was that the records of the proceedings were not being fairly and transparently maintained and the proceedings were not being conducted fairly and transparently. In this regard one of the major reservations of Mr Modi was with regard to consistent failure of the BCCI committee to obtain the confirmatory mails from the witnesses, confirming the correct recording of their evidence from some of the witnesses who were examined on video link.
In his Suit by way of relief Mr Modi amongst others had claimed that he is entitled to be tried by a fair and unbiased Tribunal (Disciplinary committee) whereas the Disciplinary Committee conducting the enquiry against him was in fact biased and had also sought a stay of the proceedings.
The BCCI had filed a reply and its reply it has represented that the confirmatory mails of the statements made by their witnesses from the who were examined via video link would be obtained in due course.
However without obtaining such confirmatory mails and without even taking on record the witness statement of Mr Modi the Committee had closed the proceedings and submitted a report. Proceeding without the witnesses confirming the recording of their statement by the enquiry panel is unheard of in any judicial or quasi judicial proceedings said Mehmood Abdi.
After submission of such report the BCCI had filed various applications seeking dismissal of this Suit claiming that in view of the submission of the report by the Committee suit has become infructuous, Shri Modi has no cause of action, Suit is an abuse of process of law and the Courts at Delhi have no Jurisdiction. Mr Modi had filed an application for amendment of the Suit.
The court after a detailed hearing in a 53 page long judgment has rejected all the contentions of the BCCI and dismissed its applications by holding that in view of the submission of the report by the Committee only the relief seeking injunction/ stay of the proceedings before the Committee has become infructuous and the remaining reliefs which included the issue of personal bias of Mr. Arun Jaitley and unfair manner in which preceding were conducted by the panel as sought in the suit by Lalit Modi still survive.