‘Fair probe needed Modi’s suspension’


Afp April 26, 2010

MUMBAI: The head of India’s cricket body said that the suspension of Indian Premier League (IPL) Chairman Lalit Modi over tax evasion and match-fixing claims was required for a “free and fair” investigation.

“The suspension is necessary for a free and fair inquiry and is not a punishment,” said the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Shashank Manohar. The BCCI, that also owns the IPL, has accused Modi of “alleged acts of individual misdemeanours” and is scrutinising his financial dealings in relation to the tournament, which began in 2008. Manohar said the investigation would include checks on the companies involved in bids for two teams – the Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab – which are respectively partowned by film actors Shilpa Shetty and Preity Zinta.

The probe, which could take up to six months to a year, will also look at agreements struck for broadcasting and internet rights plus Modi’s behavioural patterns referring to leaks from private board meetings. He also added that some key broadcasting rights documents that were demanded by India’s tax authorities were missing from the IPL office. Modi was suspended just hours after the IPL final in Mumbai concluded with MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings crowned champions after they defeated the hosts Mumbai Indians.

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