New Delhi: N Srinivasan's fate as cricket administrator continues to hang in the balance with the Supreme Court today raising a question whether he can be allowed to head BCCI if his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan is found to be involved in IPL-6 betting and spot-fixing scandal.
A bench headed by Justice T S Thakur, which said that it would open Justice Mukul Mudgal committee report on the scam on November 14, said there will be "no difficulty" if there is nothing against Srinivasan and his relative in the report but what would happen if there are findings against his relative.
Responding to the query, Srinivasan's counsel and senior advocate Kapil Sibal submitted that he should be allowed to
return back as head of the BCCI if there is nothing against him and action can be taken against his relative if there is
an adverse finding in the report.
Sibal said, "I (Srinivasan) will take the report as it is and will not question its findings." Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for the Cricket Association of Bihar on whose plea the apex court had ordered probe against Srinivasan and 12 other capped cricketers in the scandal, submitted that the BCCI chief had tried to cover-up the role of his son-in-law and he should not be allowed to contest election for the post of President of the Board.
Salve said the committee report should be made public but it was opposed by Sibal saying that in the interest of the
game the entire report be not made public. Senior advocate Raju Ramachandran, appearing for the Mudgal committee, submitted that the 35-page report does not name any player and they are referred as numbers whose key is there in a separate report.
The bench, after hearing all the sides, adjourned the case for November 14 when it will go through the report. The bench also turned down the plea of BCCI, seeking its direction to stay the proceedings on a plea at Bombay High Court which is to decide validity of amendments in the BCCI rules allowing Srinivasan to contest the election for the post of BCCI president.
The apex court, however, asked the HC to confine its hearing on the validity of the rules. The court had on September 1 rejected Srinivasan's plea for reinstatement as BCCI President saying he cannot be allowed to take charge till he gets a clean chit from the Committee which was probing him and others in the matter.
The bench had said that probe was going on and Srinivasan could not be allowed to function as BCCI President. Justice Mudgal committee, which was conducting probe against Srinivasan and 12 prominent players in the scandal, had on August 29 filed its interim report in a sealed cover before the Supreme Court.
The apex court had on May 16 given the task to conduct probe against 69-year-old Srinivasan and 12 players to Justice Mudgal panel and asked it to file its report. It had rejected BCCI's proposal to conduct the probe through its own panel.
Mudgal committee had in its initial report named Srinivasan and 12 cricketers saying that further probe is required against them.
Besides Mudgal, the panel has Additional Solicitor General L Nageshwar Rao and advocate Nilay Dutta as members.
A group of investigators headed by senior IPS officer B B Mishra has assisted the Mudgal Committee which was given the power to probe, search and seize relevant documents and record evidence in connection with illegal betting and spot-fixing allegations during sixth IPL season last year.