Monday, April 26, 2010

All about Lalit Modi.

Hello people,

This is a long post ad please bear with me.

Here am I as promised. It’s ‘All about Lalit Modi’. Well at least as much as I know, as the man seems to be really murky.
Lalit Modi comes from a business background - he is the scion of Modi Enterprises, a $1.5 billion group of companies, and sits on the board of Godfrey Philips, one of India's more successful tobacco companies.

He joined the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association in 1999 (when it had no cricket stadiums) after promising to build a cricket stadium that would be used to play cricket in the Indian summer. In 2000, he started raising concerns with the way things were run in Himachal, and was booted out when Mr. Dhumbar became the Chief Minister of HP and installed his son as the President of the HP Cricket Association.Lalit Modi first came into cricket administration as a president of the district cricket association of Nagaur in Rajasthan. In fact from there start the allegations as well. The first allegation against Modi is that he impersonated one Lalit Kumar who was the actual president of the association. But the question of how he succeeded in hiding one man is a mystery. The court is pending in court. Kishore Rungta the former Rajastan cricket association president says Modi came to him introducing himself as Lalit Kumar. But only later did he find that it was a fraud. 

here is a link

where the author Matt Wade says in 'The Age'

But there is also a hint of revenge in his motivation to get to the top of the Indian cricket establishment. More than a decade ago, Modi tried to launch an officially sanctioned professional cricket league, only to be thwarted by what he describes as "vested interests" in Indian cricket.
"We were burnt very badly by the powers that were," he said. "It became an ambition of mine to go out and clean it up."
It took Modi 10 years to break into the crusty world of Indian cricket administration. He finally succeeded by concealing his true identity to join the Rajasthan Cricket Association. He makes no excuse for this deception.
"It was a very close-knit club and they just wouldn't allow you to get in," he said. "I just used my first name and my middle name — not my last name — and that gave me the entry."
That’s a clear admission of his crime that is impersonation and fraud.
 So how did Modi rise in Rajastan. When Modi came up this way, the chief minister of Rajasthan was Vasundara Raje Sindhya, the BJP leader. Modi became the right hand of Vasundara Raje and here also it’s a mystery on how.
Vasundara Raje influenced the RCA to amend the laws, giving more power to the district cricket associations. Thus through a vote, Modi became the president of Rajasthan Cricket Association for the first time in 2003. This made him the real powerful ally of Raje. It is said that if a land deal had to go through in Rajasthan, the dealer had to first meet Lalit Modi and seek permission and only after that did the dealer go to the officials. Modi himself has made a lot of money through various land deals in Rajasthan, legally and illegally. There are a lot of allegations on Modi’s illegal land grabs. Latest one being grabbing of a ‘Haveli’ in Rajasthan illegally as it was a government heritage property. The case has been filed as a criminal one against Modi and his wife. There was a Royal family who alleged Modi grabbed their ‘Havelis’ and land through the real estate mafia.

Even before all this, Modi did his MBA or whatever graduation in the US. Its actually like in films when they say - ‘this underworld king started his crimes at a young age of 11 or 12’. Modi was accused of and arrested for a serious crime of Drug Trafficking in the US in 1985. He was found guilty too. He was also arrested for kidnapping and assaulting, and proven guilty. Now, shockingly Modi brushes this aside by this statement which is a sarcastic acceptance. When I was in college I was in a fraternity and the fraternity was charged with a conspiracy to buy drugs — there were no drugs," he said. "What I may have done in my past, when I was in my teens, is not something that I am today." 
The Supreme Court has been hearing a petition challenging Modi’s position as a cricket official since 2005. But the case has acquired urgency lately after the petitioner asked for a quick resolution, either way.
Documents available with HT show Modi had pleade guilty to possessing cocaine, abduction and assault in the state of North Carolina in 1985.These documents are included in the petition being heard by the Supreme Court, challenging Modi's election as president of the Rajasthan Cricket Association on the grounds that its rules do not permit anyone convicted of a criminal offence to hold the post of an office-bearer. The petitioner is Kishore Rungta, who was defeated by Modi in the state elections. If the court upholds the petitioner's plea, Modi's position as vice-president of the Board for Control of Cricket in India may also become untenable.
 In 1985, General Court of Justice, Durham County, had charged Modi with kidnapping, assault and possession of 400 grams of cocaine, court documents show. He then entered a 'plea bargain', which is permitted under the US law and allows a reduced punishment without a trial if the accused confesses to his or her crimes. 
"Since the case was reported in the press, in order to avoid further publicity, embarrassment, protracted litigation in a foreign country, heavy costs and consequent intervention with his academic career, he entered into plea bargaining," Modi's lawyers wrote in a submission to the Supreme Court.The Durham County Court accepted Modi's plea bargaining application and found him guilty of kidnapping and assault. The court sentenced him to two years imprisonment and fined him $10,000. On Modi's request, the court placed him on five-year probation, asking him to undergo 100 hours of community service. The decision on sentencing for possession of drugs was deferred for five years on the condition that a $50,000 cash bond was deposited with the court. This is a normal practice in North Carolina for the first-time offenders.
 Modi moved the court again in 1986 -- after graduating from Duke University – seeking permission to move to India on health grounds, probably another fake.
 The court ordered: "As a fact the defendant has been hospitalised. His doctors indicate that a return to his home in India would facilitate his recovery and; they said probation be modified to unsupervised probation. As a condition, the defendant is to perform 200 hours of community service by 1990.”
Modi's lawyers say the US court did not pass any final judgment on the drugs charge in the next five years and the cash bond was also discharged. North Carolina rules allow first-time offenders in drugs cases to be given the benefit of deferred sentences. The issue of Modi's conviction has been haunting him regularly. 
A public interest litigation in the Mumbai High Court in 2007 challenged his election as BCCI vice-president on the same ground. Though the court refused to unseat Modi, it asked the BCCI "to implement stringent regulatory measures so that those involved in criminal cases, not just illegal drugs but other serious charges have no place in administration". There are no indications so far that the BCCI paid any heed to the Bombay High Court's suggestions.
The Supreme Court is yet to deliver a final judgment on this.
Now, let’s be back where we were. In 2004 there started a big power struggle on similar lines with the one that’s happening now. Sharad Pawar, the big politician, was vying for the post of the BCCI president and he was looking to oust Jagmohan Dalmiya then. Modi, knowing the moment, backed Pawar. IS Bindra, who is now the PCA president and former BCCI president, was Dalmiyas right hand man. At the last moment he backed off and joined Pawar which completely derailed Dalmiya. 
Thus the group that is now in the BCCI was formed. Modi’s rise was quick and exactly it happens in such cases, filled with many illegal and criminal cases. Not to let the others in this group clean. They too are making tons of money though illegal means.
In 2005, Dalmiya was ousted and Pawar became the president of the BCCI.
The IPL started in 2008, and all the credits were showered on Modi, though a similar league-ICL- existed and was powered down later by BCCI. The concept of T20 was there from since 2003 and the concept of franchisees is there in football since 1990. So I don’t understand, how Modi could just nurture out this ‘BRAND’ [I hate to hear cricket being dubbed a band]. Modi became all the more powerful with the IPL and became the Commissioner of IPL. Though I wonder about the positions in the BCCI as to whom is Modi accountable? He is also in the BCCI.
But in between all this, the Rajasthan government changed in 2008 due to a Gurjar tension. Congress came to power and this spelt trouble for Modi. All of a sudden cases were stacked against him in courts. The above mentioned case of ‘a criminal cannot be an office bearer’ case was as a result of the election. Other cases were that of ‘Havelis’. Modi allegedly, acquired these ‘Havelis’, to be a resident of Rajasthan so as to contest the RCA elections. So everything associated with him is a forgery. 
The tenants in the ‘Havelis’ were first evicted in the name of conservation and then were sold to a company in which Lalit Modi and his wife were directors. Settlement records however show that the ‘Havelis’ were actually government property.
"I have got the report and I'm studying it. I am yet to examine it in detail as I was busy in a cabinet meeting," said Rajasthan Art and Heritage Minister Bina Kak.
In fact families living in these havelis for generations have complained that the Raje government forced them to vacate their homes in the name of conservation and that the state archaelogical department even sent notices to haveli owners asking them to vacate. The pressure tactic allowed Modi to buy the havelis through a company called Heritage Constructions and then Ananda Heritage hotels.
"We never wanted to sell our havelis; who would want to sell his home? But the government piled on a lot of pressure on us saying that you have to vacate as these are heritage properties," said Bharat Singh, the owner of Amer haveli.
The pressure was too much. Modi lost the RCA election in 2008 and fight broke out between the Congressman, who was opposite Modi and Modi. The RCA was locked using 2 locks and even 2 teams were sent for a domestic competition, both being rejected in the end. There was a second election held as the court interfered and Modi lost again, this time the Congress candidate was different. Again fight broke out and Modi alleged that his supporters were not allowed to vote. But the result stayed. Modi was in trouble for his post in the BCCI as the vice-president which he became after the IPL started. But IS Bindra came to his aide and Modi became the vice-president of the Punjab CA. 
But Shashank Manohar, who had by that time become president of the BCCI from the vice-president position, was against Modi acquiring more and more power. Some of the congress members like Rajiv Shukla were also against this. Thus the move to oust Modi started in 2009 itself, if I am guessing right.
The rest of the saga is explained in my earlier blog.

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