The third show-cause notice slapped on Lalit Modi is nothing but the board's response to his allegations against BCCI secretary N Srinivasan, according to the lawyer of the suspended IPL commissioner.
"The third notice was a counter blast to the requisition application moved by Modi calling upon both Shashank Manohar (BCCI president) and Srinivasan to recuse themselves from the disciplinary proceedings (against the former) to enable a free and fair trial," Modi's lawyer Mehmood Abdi told reporters.
The third show-cause notice, issued on Monday, related to selling of theatrical rights and 150-second commercial breaks in between deliveries during IPL 3.
Abdi, who came to the BCCI headquarters to submit the hard copies of Modi's reply to the second notice, said instead of replying to the suspended IPL chief's 14-page letter dated May 25 the BCCI had issued another show-cause as they did not find anything "unsatisfactory" in his reply to the first one.
The first show cause was issued on April 25 soon after the completion of IPL 3 final alleging financial irregularities and bid rigging in the running of the Twenty20 league.
The second show-cause notice, sent on May 6, charged Modi with trying to start a rebel Twenty20 league in England. It was on the basis of an e-mail sent to Manohar by England and Wales Cricket Board's chairman Giles Clarke.
Abdi charged the BCCI bigwigs with harassing Modi and called the sending of show-cause notice after notice to him as "ridiculous".
"This (third show-cause notice) is an afterthought to further harass Modi. Our main line of defence is Lalit Modi has nothing to hide. This show-cause business has become a ridiculous affair. If they had some issues all should have come in the first show-cause notice."
Abdi termed the second show-cause notice as akin to the game of "Chinese whisper".
"There is a total disconnect between what one of the executives of the (English) counties, who met Modi in Delhi, sent in an e-mail on March 31, 2010 and what Giles Clarke sent in an e-mail on May 2, 2010 to the BCCI president," he said.
"It was a brief and casual luncheon meeting. The county executives approached Modi, who was very busy in IPL but still managed to squeeze in a meeting through (sports management firm) IMG to discuss the success of the IPL since they were in losses," Abdi said.
"There was no fixed agenda and Modi did not make any presentations and the purported minutes of the meeting circulated by one of the county executives was not even addressed to Modi, nor seen or approved by him and do not reflect exactly what transpired at that casual interaction."
"What was described as sinister and diabolical (by Clarke) was nothing but casual luncheon chit chat. Many things are discussed in a chit chat," Abdi remarked.
About the defamation notice sent on Monday by Modi through his London solicitors to Clarke, Abdi said the ECB official needs to tender an "unconditional apology" within seven days.
"Mr Clarke should tender an unconditional apology." On the suspended IPL chief's response to the third notice issued to him on Monday by the BCCI, his legal counsel said it needed to be studied in detail first.
"We got the third show-cause notice last night. The whole issue has got technical proportion. Let's study it first," Abdi said.
He again called for Srinivasan's suspension by the BCCI president as per the board's bylaws, a demand that Modi had raised through his 14-page letter to Manohar.
"Lalit Modi was issued a show-cause notice and put under suspension on the basis of hearsay and gossip whereas in his requisition application he levelled serious allegations in writing against Mr Srinivasan.
"As per judicial propriety and fairness it had left the BCCI president with no option than to issue a show-cause notice to Mr Srinivasan and put him as well under suspension till the inquiry in the matter is completed as was done to Mr Modi," Abdi stated.
"Mr Manohar should have heard the contentions and allegations raised against Mr Srinivasan as a complaint and proceeded against him under the bylaws of the association," he added.
Calling Srinivasan "instrumental in sponsoring complaints" against him, Modi had said in his letter to Manohar that he would like to cross-examine the BCCI secretary in the inquiry.
Modi had claimed Srinivasan would have an axe to grind against him for various reasons.
"I have sufficient cause to apprehend bias ... This stems from the manner in which I have consistently frustrated and exposed his attempts at misusing his position as secretary..." Modi had said in his letter.
He also alleged that Srinivasan had handpicked umpires from Chennai to oversee matches of IPL franchisee Chennai Super Kings, of which he was the owner, before he intervened.
"This constituted a clear attempt at umpire fixing/match-fixing. Upon my coming to know of this I objected to the same and removed them in the interest of the League.
"Since I have been opposed to his manner of functioning from the very inception, it is obvious that to protect his position, the Hon secretary has good reasons not just to defame me but also to find me guilty of these imaginary wrongdoings alleged in the show-cause notice," Modi has said. PTI