Srinivasan stayed away from inquiry against Meiyappan, says his lawyer

The apex court says that it remained to be "examined" whether there was any conflict of interest regarding Srini's role as the then BCCI president and his stake in CSK, through his company India Cements

New Delhi: The BCCI tried hard yesterday in the Supreme Court to project its sidelined president, N Srinivasan, as cricket's cleanest official but judges — clearly dissatisfied — wanted more details, a virtual dossier on the BCCI-run Indian Premier League and its multiple functions, including selection of players.

N Srinivasan. Pic/Getty Images
N Srinivasan. Pic/Getty Images 

The court will examine
In addition, the court said that it remained to be "examined" whether there was any conflict of interest regarding Srinivasan's role as the then BCCI president and his stake in IPL team Chennai Super Kings, through his company India Cements.

In a packed courtroom — walls lined with bound copies of reports of important cases — Srinivasan's lawyer Kapil Sibal argued there was no case of conflict of interest and that he had always stayed away from the inquiry against his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, arrested by the Mumbai Police for betting. In fact, Sibal argued that Srinivasan acted instantly when urged by BJP strongman and current finance minister Arun Jaitley to initiate a probe into IPL.

Sitting next, a battery of BCCI's rival lawyers — who include Harish Salve — smiled, knowing well the minutes of the BCCI working committee listed no such demand by Jaitley. So why drop Jaitley's name? Justices TS Thakur and FMI Kalifulla also asked pointed questions about Srinivasan's conflicts of interest and wanted minutest details of IPL, especially the way the world's richest cricket league was run by BCCI.

Salve and his team, it is reliably learnt, will raise his pitch around three contentious issues that they are confident will nail BCCI's lies in the court when it again assembles on Monday, December 8, 2014.

First, on the issue of conflict of interest, Salve's argument would be simple: Was it not a clear-cut conflict of interest for employees of India Cements to work for the board? And if that is the case, how come no other officials of IPL franchises worked for the board?

Salve's salvo could put the board in severe trouble, ostensibly because in an affidavit filed last week, India Cements asked for the court's permission to allow employees of India Cements to continue their work for the BCCI because there were no adverse findings against them by the Mudgal Committee. This, claimed BCCI's rivals, will be against the claims made by Srinivasan that he was never the owner of CSK.

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