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Modi loses appeal

MUMBAI, July 15- Suspended Indian Premier League chief Lalit Modi was dealt a fresh blow Thursday after a court dismissed his plea to stay disciplinary proceedings initiated against him by India's cricket board.The Bombay High Court also rejected Modi’s demand that a three-member panel set up by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to probe a raft of allegations against him be reconstituted.

He has accused the current members — lawyer and politician Arun Jaitley, businessman Chirayu Amin and junior federal minister Jyotiraditya Scindia — of being biased against him.

The court’s order means Modi, 46, will have to appear before the panel here on Friday to answer allegations of corruption, indiscipline and money-laundering in the hugely successful Twenty20 league.

Modi’s lawyer Mehmood Abdi, however, said his client was out of the country and the next step would be decided after receiving the court’s order.

"It is not a setback," Abdi told reporters outside the court. "The certified copy of the order will be with us by the end of day or early tomorrow morning and only then we will be able to plan our next step.

"I cannot comment on our strategy and further plan at the moment. Give us time to think about the next step we have to take."

BCCI chief-executive Ratnakar Shetty welcomed the court order.

"We don’t take this verdict in terms of victory or defeat," he said. "We followed a procedure and it was challenged by Mr Modi in the court. The court has given its directive and he has to appear before the committee."

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Shetty refused to speculate on what action the committee would take if Modi skipped Friday’s disciplinary hearing.

BCCI, which owns the IPL, set up the panel last month to probe charges against Modi who was suspended at the conclusion of the third edition of the hugely popular IPL tournament.

The committee has until October 25 to investigate and look into whether action should be taken against Modi, which could include his permanent expulsion from the BCCI.

Modi’s troubles began in April when he revealed the ownership details of a new franchise set to join the tournament in 2011.

He embarrassed a high-profile member of the government, junior foreign minister Shashi Tharoor, by leaking on Twitter how Tharoor’s girlfriend had been given a free stake in the new team.

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