Tuesday, November 9, 2010

no criminal cases possible against modi:chennai police

The city police, investigating charges filed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India(BCCI), against former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi and six others, may not, it appears, be able to build a criminal case against them. 

Most of the charges levelled against them, sources said, could only be part of a civil suit. 

"There are no public servants involved and the breach of contracts alleged against Modi is not fit to be described as a criminal offence. BCCI is registered as a non-profit society and does not have well laid-out bylaws as far as the conduct of IPL is concerned," a police official said. 

After examining the contracts given out by Modi on the BCCI's behalf during IPL, the officials said the BCCI had not instructed him how the contracts should be awarded. Moreover, the BCCI also received its share of revenue from the contracts awarded. 

"For every contract awarded during IPL he (Modi) got the BCCI members' council's consent. So if there is any criminal breach of contract or cheating, then every council member would be an accused in the case," the official added. 

Sources said ex-Sony chief Kunal Dasgupta, among the six mentioned in the complaint, would also be in a position to come out clean. 

"When the broadcast rights of IPL were given to Sony, it had absolute control over advertisement space. The coverage was carried out by another agency which gave the live feed to Sony, which added advertisements before telecasting. Sony had a contract for about 2,400 seconds of commercial time in each game. The IPL management wanted more revenue through advertisements and identified additional free commercial slots' (the time between each ball bowled). So each game had around 150 seconds of such free commercial slot, which were not awarded to Sony. 

"Modi selected Dasgupta to sell these slots, and it was Dasgupta's idea to have a giant screen showing advertisements in the stadium. The agency providing the live feed caught this on camera and provided it to Sony. Dasgupta took a 15% commission and is said to have remitted the rest to the BCCI," another official said.