Trouble awaits IPL's Modi in India

Lalit Modi will be enjoying Sunday’s Indian Premier League (IPL) final at the Wanderers with the gnawing knowledge that trouble awaits him on his return to India.

According to the ANI news agency in India, the chairperson and commissioner of the IPL will be called before the Rajasthan High Court to explain why he broke his bail conditions in a forgery case by travelling to South Africa in the first place.

While Modi will be savouring the success of his second IPL tournament, which the South African public have enthusiastically embraced, there are some, particularly in India, who have not been impressed by his seeming largesse.

Modi was granted bail on February 27, one of the conditions being that he not leave India without the Rajasthan High Court’s permission, after an NGO laid a complaint that not all of the money promised in a cheque handover to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund for the victims of last May’s Jaipur terror blasts had come through.

The 45-year-old Modi is also in the dog box over two complaints which threaten to remove him from office as the president of the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) and hence from his post as a vice-president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

Jaipur police, according to ANI, are investigating an alleged forgery over property the Mumbai-based Modi bought in Jaipur in September 2004 in order to qualify for the presidency of the RCA on the basis of residency.

Modi is alleged to have used fake documents in order to purchase the property.

The other case is one which simply refuses to die, his conviction for cocaine possession, kidnapping and assault while studying at Duke University in the United States in 1985.

Modi pleaded guilty to all charges, was fined $10 000 and was sentenced to two years in jail, which he never served as he was given probation instead.

But since 2005, the Supreme Court in India has been hearing a petition brought by Kishore Rungta, who Modi beat in the RCA elections, to declare the president of one of India’s biggest industrial conglomerates ineligible as the RCA’s constitution does not permit anyone convicted of a criminal offence to hold office.

His position as BCCI vice-president has been challenged in the Mumbai High Court on the same grounds.