IPL scam: Body blow for Srinivasan as SC bars him from contesting BCCI polls

SC states that while BCCI chief-in-exile Srinivasan is not guilty of cover up in the 2013 IPL betting and spot fixing case, he can't contest cricket board polls if he owns Chennai Super Kings

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday while clearing ousted Board of Control for Cricket in India president N Srinivasan of cover up in the 2013 IPL betting and spot fixing case barred him contesting elections for the Indian cricket board's governing body presidency as long as he is involved in a "conflict of interest" situation as an owner of IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings (CSK).

It asked the board to hold the polls within six weeks.

Amendments that were made to rule 6.2.4 - which allows BCCI officials to own IPL teams and let Srinivasan buy Chennai Super Kings (CSK) - have been struck down. The court held as unsustainable and impermissible the amendment in BCCI rule permitting cricket administrator to have commercial interest in IPL and Champions League. The court added that no BCCI officials can have commercial interests and charges against Srinivasan can be regarded as suspicion.

N Srinivasan
N Srinivasan

The apex court said this while striking down an amendment to the BCCI rules which permitted the office bearers of the apex cricket body to have commercial interests in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the Champions League Twenty20 and all events organised by the BCCI.

The apex court bench, headed by Justice T.S. Thakur, held Srinivasan's son-in-law and CSK "official" Gurunath Meiyappan, and IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals' co-owner Raj Kundra guilty of betting and said the punishment will not only be confined to them but also extend to the franchises they represent.

The court set up a three-member committee headed by former Chief Justice R.M. Lodha to decide, besides other issues, the quantum of punishment to be given to Meiyappan and Kundra.

The court also asked Srinivasan to stay away from the BCCI on account of his commercial interest in CSK.

But the court made a distinction between commercial interest and professional interest in respect of service rendered by prominent former cricketers Sunil Gavaskar and current Indian team's director Ravi Shastri as commentators.

The allegations against IPL COO Sundar Raman need to be probed further, added the top court. A three-member committee of former judges RM Lodha, Ashok Bhan and RV Ravindran constituted the verdict.

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