New Delhi: Even before the Supreme Court opened the sealed envelope containing votes of the controversial Rajasthan Cricket Association elections, the Board of Control for Cricket in India on Monday conceded 'defeat' to arch-rival Lalit Modi. But the apex court was in no hurry to declare Modi as RCA chief, saying it will hear the case again on March 4 and make a final decision after that. The court is hearing a Special Leave Petition, filed jointly by former RCA chief Kishore Rungta and the BCCI, opposing Modi's return as RCA president. Modi contested the RCA election in Jaipur on December 19 and is widely expected to win.
BCCI and Rungta are challenging the Rajasthan Sports Act 2005 that enabled Modi contest the RCA elections. The Supreme Court has so far heard the case thrice, the first two instances being January 6 and 17. Thirty-two districts, affiliated to the RCA, voted on December 19 and the Modi faction has claimed absolute majority. The elections were held under supervision of two retired Supreme Court judges. The votes are in a sealed envelope which can only be opened by the apex court.
Modi has been banned by the BCCI for life for financial irregularities when he was IPL chief. The Board says Modi's return will tarnish the image of Indian cricket. BCCI lawyers told the Supreme Court judges that Modi was ineligible to contest since he was banned. Conceding the fact that the UK-based businessman is expected to win 26-6, BCCI's lawyers said RCA could face expulsion if Modi became its chief.