Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday cross-examined N. Srinivasan, the former International Cricket Committee (ICC) chairman and president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), in connection with alleged International Premier League (IPL) funds laundering scam case. During the questioning, Mr Srinivasan reportedly dodged critical questions stating he was ‘too aged to recollect the details’.
The cross-examination of BCCI officials is underway before the special director of ED following Modi’s lawyers filing a writ before the Bombay high court seeking verification of their roles in the transfer of over Rs 400 crore to Cricket South Africa (CSA) for hosting the IPL season there in 2009.
“The case took a curious turn today as Srinivasan pushed on the blame to Shashank Manohar and M.P. Pandove, the then-treasurer of BCCI. He displayed selective amnesia, but did blame both of them, stating that the president and treasurer, who worked under Manohar following his orders, had the powers to act and not him,” said Mehmood Abdi, former IPL commissioner and chairman Lalit Modi’s lawyer.
When the authorities allegedly gave him documents to read, he said he could not read as he had visual ailments. Hence, the lawyers read it out to him to only respond that he could not recall anything.
The most important questions were allegedly turned down by Srinivasan. Mr Abdi added that in the ongoing process of passing the buck, Modi was however not named by either of them during their cross examination.
When Mr Srinivasan was approached seeking his side on the proceedings, he refused to comment. The ED officials also refused to speak on the cross-examinations.
Mr Pandove was also cross-examined before the ED’s special director on Monday morning. He also told the authorities that he was treasurer and disbursement of funds was his job as per order. He added that he had no role in policy making.
“Finance was part of working committee and BCCI as a whole. The authorities should decide who is telling the truth. During his cross-examination Mr Manohar had also said he was not in the loop with the working committee.. But documents confirmed he was in the loop and part of decision making,” said Mr Abdi.
Mr Manohar was to decide where to conduct matches. As per minutes, Mr Manohar had to take the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) permission.
The charges of fund transfer without RBI’s permission are in violation of Foreign Exchange Management Act provisions. The charges do not attract criminal proceedings but a monetary penalty.
On Friday, ED cross-examined Naseer Khan, the chief manager of the then-State Bank of Travancore, now merged with the State Bank of India, for his role as manager in transferring funds to CSA for hosting IPL season 2 in South Africa. He was rushed to hospital after he collapsed and he will be questioned again.
Cross-examination of IPL COO Sundar Raman, former IPL chairman and BCCI former VP Chirayu Amin was completed on Thursday.