Embattled IPL founder Lalit Modi may be living in London as a fugitive, hiding from Indian laws. But the beleaguered former cricket administrator hit the headlines as he introduced actor Sushmita Sen as his ‘better looking partner’.
At the peak of his career, Lalit Modi held the posts of the founder, first Chairman and Commissioner of the Indian Premier League (IPL), and ran the tournament for three years. He has headed the Champions League, Rajasthan Cricket Association and has been the second-in-command of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the Punjab Cricket Association.
But it all came crashing down in 2010, when the cricket czar had to flee India amid a barrage of probes over charges of tax evasion and money laundering.
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FALL FROM GRACE
His ouster from Indian cricket came as swiftly and unexpectedly as his meteoric rise. At the final of the IPL’s third edition in April 2010, he arrived on a chartered flight and, flanked by the two captains playing the finals, detailed the schedule of the fourth season.
The extravaganza was proof that he was still unaware of his impending doom.
The gait and glamour lasted as long as the final match – of the season and what went on to be of his life.
Minutes after the last ball was bowled, BCCI served him a suspension notice with a 34-page letter revealing nearly two dozen charges of impropriety.
Three show-cause notices followed. BCCI was not satisfied with his response.
CHARGES AGAINST LALIT MODI
Modi had allegedly breached confidentiality agreements between the IPL franchises and the BCCI by tweeting the ownership details of the now-defunct Kochi team.
More charges followed – financial irregularities, manipulating broadcast deals, planning a parallel IPL in England and rigging franchisee auctions.
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The final blow was dealt in September 2010 when he was finally sacked.
The removal was just the beginning of his end.
RUN IN WITH AUTHORITIES
In March, 2011, Modi’s passport was revoked by authorities at the behest of the Enforcement Directorate. The agency had managed to get a Blue Corner Notice issued against him for his alleged role in violating the forex laws in the IPLs.
It was suspected that Modi had acquired forex worth crores outside India, misusing his position as the IPL chief.
As agencies began their probes, Modi didn’t appear before the ED.
ESCAPE FROM INDIA
Three years later, in 2014, the Delhi High Court restored his passport. In less than 30 days, Keith Vaz, an Indian-origin British MP, got UK authorities to expedite Modi’s documents, citing then Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, who had reportedly told him that India had no objections to Modi’s foreign travel.
Armed with his travel documents, Modi first visited Portugal where his wife was reportedly being treated for cancer. He then went on to tour several European countries, posting about his travels on social media.
His travel to the UK created a political whirlpool in India, with the Opposition accusing the Centre of aiding his escape. Sushma Swaraj and Vasundhara Raje were caught in the eye of the storm.
In December, 2018, Lalit Modi’s wife, Minal, died after years of battling cancer.
In a heartfelt tweet, Modi wrote: “My Love My Life My Soulmate. You are finally at Peace and I am sure you will be watching over us. You have been my life and my journey and now I must continue as promised to you in ensuring our children are protected and nurtured and loved and I know you will always be there (sic).”
Former IPL chairman Lalit Modi announced a “new beginning” with Sushmita Sen on social media, sending netizens into a frenzy. The post created a lot of buzz on social media, with many speculating if the two will tie the knot soon.
However, the ex-IPL boss soon clarified that the two are ‘just dating’.
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