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SC leaves it to BCCI to decide on keeping N Srinivasan away

Supreme Court asks BCCI to take a call on whether to keep Srinivasan away from Board meetings

New Delhi: Supreme Court yesterday declined to interfere with BCCI's view to bar N Srinvasan from taking part in any of its meetings, saying the Board was free to stick to its stand that he suffered from conflict of interest so long as a court of law upsets that opinion.

Also Read: Srinivasan withdraws application for perjury against BCCI secy Anurag Thakur

N Srinivasan. Pic/AFP
N Srinivasan. Pic/AFP

The apex court, which declined to pass direction on the BCCI's plea seeking clarification whether Srinivasan was eligible to participate in board meetings in view of the January 22 order declaring him to be suffering from conflict of interest for owning IPL team Chennai Super Kings (CSK), said he was also free to question the correctness of Board's view in a court of law.

Also Read: End of the 'N Srinivasan era' in the BCCI

Why clarify?
"We do not see any need for any clarification in our judgement of January 22, which is self-expedient and also does not suffer from any ambiguity," a bench comprising Justices TS Thakur and FMI Kalifulla said. It declined to go into BCCI's contention that post-judgement restructuring of shareholdings of India Cement Ltd and CSK does not free Srinivasan of charge of conflict of interest.

BCCI's counsel and senior advocate KK Venugopal had argued that restructuring of shareholdings of India Cement Ltd and transfer of shares of CSK in the newly-formed trust by Srinavasan on February 23, was a "sham transaction." His argument was opposed by senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who said BCCI's view to disqualify Srinivasan from participating in the board meeting was not passed through any resolution and was open to challenge.

However, taking note of the submissions of both sides, the bench said it was not going to deliberate on the development subsequent to its January 22 judgement. "Having said that, BCCI is free to take a view about the subsequent development and free to stick to it so long as a competent court of jurisdiction arrives at a decision to upset its view," the bench said, adding that "Srinivasan shall also be free to question the correctness of the view in court."

The bench, which said it was waiting for the committee headed by former Chief Justice of India RM Lodha to complete its work and submit its report on possible reform in BCCI, also refused to refer the issue of Srinivasan's alleged conflict of interest to the panel.

Bench furious
At the outset, the bench was furious that BCCI had moved the apex court for clarification on the development that arose after the judgement in which the petition was disposed of. "Why did you come to this court for this type of clarification? We are not continuously monitoring the developments in BCCI," the bench said, adding that BCCI was entitled to take a view on the development that has taken place after the delivery of its verdict.

"If they (Srinivasan) have a problem they will take a remedy. Your (BCCI) stand that Srinivasan still continues to suffer from disqualification due to conflict of interest is your view. Why do you want clarification? You are free to stick to your stand. If Srinivasan has problem, let him approach court... both of you are free to fight it out. Everytime you will come to this court if he will do something. Today he has one arrangement, tomorrow he will have another," the bench said and asked BCCI to withdraw its application which was agreed to by its counsel.

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