MI owner asked to respond to ‘conflict of interest’ allegation

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The new Ethics Officer of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), retired Supreme Court Judge Vineet Saran, has requested a written response from Mumbai Indians owner and director of Reliance Industries Limited, Nita Ambani, on an alleged ‘conflict of interest’ complaint against her. Judge Saran, in the statement valued by The Indian Express, has set September 2 as the deadline for the response that “must be supported by a duly executed affidavit.”

The whistleblower, Sanjeev Gupta, a former member of the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association, in his communication to Judge Saran last month, wrote that Ambani is “affected by a conflict of interest case”, according to BCCI rules, as “she owns the BCCI IPL franchise”. of Mumbai Indians Team and also owned by RIL/subsidiary Viacom 18 won the IPL media rights, so Viacom 18 entered into a contractual agreement with BCCI for the IPL media rights.”

In response to the complaint, Saran wrote to Ambani: “You are hereby informed that the Ethics Officer of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (for short ‘BCCI’) received a complaint under Rule 39 ( 2) (b) of the BCCI Rules and Regulations, with respect to certain acts, which allegedly constitute a ‘conflict of interest’ on your part”.

The notice further states: “You are directed to file your written response to the attached complaint on or before 09/02/2022. Said response must be supported by a duly granted sworn statement.”

Citing a statement from RIL and the BCCI website, Gupta, in his complaint, mentions two dots connecting the RIL-Mumbai Indians-Viacom dots.

* “It is stated that Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), through its subsidiary India Win Sports, owns the BCCI IPL Mumbai Indians franchise, whereby RIL, through its subsidiary India Win Sports, has a contractual agreement of franchise with BCCI”.

*”Features BCCI website dated June 15, 2022 and BCCI Secretary Shri Jay Shah’s Twitter account dated June 14, 2022 showing RIL subsidiary Viacom 18 won BCCI IPL Media Rights”.

RIL’s shareholding in IndiaWin is 99.99 percent.

Gupta also mentions the relevant clause that he alleges has been violated.

“When BCCI, a Member, the IPL or a Franchisee enter into contractual agreements with entities in which the interested party or his relative, partner or close associate has an interest. This should include instances where family members, partners or close associates are in a position that may, or may be seen to, compromise such as the individual’s participation, performance and performance of duties.”

Calls and texts to the representative of the Mumbai Indians and Judge Saran went unanswered.



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