How he made a mockery of Public Interest Litigation(PIL) rules
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap]ditya Verma, a previously little known cricket official from Chhapra in Bihar, has created waves in the world of cricket by persuading the Supreme Court to go into the affairs of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), but a set of emails show that he was acting as a front for former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi, who is wanted by the Indian government in Money Laundering cases.
The emails show that Verma’s PIL in Supreme Court was financed by Modi to settle scores against his rivals in cricket world. This is against judicial rules as the petitioner of the PIL gives an undertaking to the court that it was a public interest matter, which had no ulterior motives and the petition was not financed by anyone.
The leaked mails of Modi also show that another PIL in Mumbai High Court was also financed by him through proxy petitioners. These emails were produced before the Madras High Court in a petition filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy recently to expose the murky world of cricket and misuse of court proceedings by filing proxy PILs. As the matter was related to the case in Supreme Court, the HC observed that Swamy may plead his petition in front of the apex court itself.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]V[/dropcap]erma, a man of little means, stayed in a posh five star hotel in Delhi for months to fight the legal battle. In the emails Modi expresses his displeasure over expenses of Verma and asks him to cut down his costs by shifting to a three star hotel.
Following are the excerpts from one email from Adv. Mehmood Abdi (the advocate who appears for Lalit Modi in media to defend him) to staff of ‘Beacon’ agency booking hotels and travel tickets. The mails were marked to Lalit Modi and his associate Swadeep Hora (Hora is the advocate from Jaipur and trusted man of Modi to deal with Aditya Verma)
“Please book air tkts economy class for Shri Aditya Verma and Shri Chandrasekhar, 25 feb Patna-Mumbai 28 feb Mumbai – Patna. Also arrange for hotel accommodation on twin sharing basis for them in Mumbai for the above dates. They are Mr.Lalit Modi’s guests. You check flight preference etc from Mr.Aditya Verma on +919576747889. Please email tickets and hotel booking details to him at aditya.Vr3 @gmail.com….Regards Mehmood Abdi,” said the email dated February 22, 2014.
Interestingly, Lalit Modi was fed up with the bargaining tactics of Aditya Verma who always demanded money for each and everything. Modi expressed his displeasure on Verma’s attitude in a note to Swadeep Hora. Here is Hora’s email to Modi on Feb 18, 2014:
I spoke to Aditya Verma this morning. He is in requirement of funds for lawyers and his travel arrangements to Mumbai etc. I told him to send the memo of his lawyers as also his intending days of travel to attend court cases. He said he would send details by email. I had thought of taking further instructions from your knew hs email arrived.
Within hours Modi shot back to Hora expressing displeasure.
“Ticket Beacon can do (the travel agency). But why does he need to travel for cases. We should take over. He does not need to go all over. Let’s us assess what these cases are. Are they sound? Or fishing trip. Then take action.”
Unhappy over Aditya Verma’s luxurious life style, Mehmood Abdi told the Beacon travel agency staffer to provide only ordinary cars to Aditya Verma during his stay in Delhi’s Taj Man Singh Hotel. The mail says the hotel room will be on double occupancy basis to cut the expenditure of Verma.
“Dear Naveen (Beacon staffer),
Please send tkts to Mr.Aditya Verma and his lawyers. Book them in Taj Man Singh on double occupancy basis. Provide them with a non fancy car for local use,” said the email dated March 4, 2014.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]S[/dropcap]everal emails show that noted lawyer Harish Salve was advising Modi in Aditya Verma’s PIL against BCCI. Following is one such email from Swadeep Hora to Lalit Modi on BCCI’s Interim Application (IA) on April 10, 2014 :
As per Mr.Salve’s advice we should not contest the BCCI IA. As there is going to be no contest I am not going to Delhi. I have otherwise spoken to AOR (Advocate On Record) as well as Mr. Sinha the senior who has been briefed to appear tomorrow and have also appraised Mr. Sinha of Mr. Salve’s view.
One email dated November 12, 2014 shows that Harish Salve was paid Rs.21 lakhs ($31,000) for appearing before Mudgal commission for three times.
“Harish Salve is appearing in Mudgal matter. He is required to be paid for 3 appearances – one he has already appeared on November 10, 2014 and also on two more dates fixed by the Supreme Court namely November 14, 2014 and November 11, 2014. He is to be paid Rs.7 lakhs per appearance therefore totaling Rs.21 lakhs ($31,000). Mr. Lalit Mod has desired that the said amount be relapsed to Mr.Salve. Kindly do the needful in this regard as soon as is possible. Appearance of Harish Salve is a must,” said Swadeep to one Ramamurthy in the email marked to Lalit Modi.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]I[/dropcap]n another email May 9, 2014, Lalit Modi orders to clear the Salve’s pending payment of Rs.15 lakhs ($22,000). The mail also attached the bill from Salve’s office titled BCCI Vs Cricket Association of Bihar. The three bills give the impression that Salve charged Rs. 5 lakh per appearance to contest the proxy war of Lalit Modi thru Aditya Verma. The mail originated from Salve’s office at Room No : 1001, inside Hotel Taj Man Singh.
Another email also shows that Padma Bhushan awardee Harish Salve was in regular touch with Lalit Modi. The email dated April 20, 2014 between Modi and Salve says:
“Salve sahib, Can we do conference call tomorrow evening with Shashank? Please advice what time.”
Another mail dated June 7, 2014, Salve tells Lalit Modi :
“My gut feel is – if you let him become Chairman and then move, it would be better. After Patnaik – who was tough as nails, we will have to see who is going to now head the bench. WP in Bombay may be better idea.
1. The conversion rate used in this article is 1 USD = 68.18 Rupees.
2. Next part will show how Lalit Modi did not want Sunil Gavaskar in any interim committee to clean the dirt in the Cricket as he is a money minded person. The Third part will cover how Lalit Modi tried to manage the media for planting stories against his rivals in Cricket. We will also be publishing his `panicky’ emails following the expose of Sushma Swaraj helping him to obtain travel documents from UK authorities.
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