SC restrains N Srinivasan from taking charge as BCCI President
The Supreme Court might have asked him not to take charge even on winning the elections but N Srinivasan is all set to go ahead with his audacious bid for an extended term as BCCI President when the under-fire Cricket Board gathers for its Annual General Meeting in Chennai on Sunday.
Controversial BCCI president N Srinivasan was on Friday restrained from assuming the top post, if re-elected, until further orders by the Supreme Court which asked why he was at the helm when his son-in-law was chargesheeted in the IPL spot-fixing case.
In the high voltage proceedings, the court, which allowed the Board to hold its proposed Annual General Meeting scheduled for Sunday in Chennai, said Srinivasan will have to wait to take charge if elected again as president of the cash-rich body until it decides the matter.
"In the meanwhile, the proposed AGM of BCCI will be held on September 29 and the election in the AGM can also be held. In case Srinivasan is elected as President, he will not take charge until further orders," a bench comprising Justices A K Patnaik and J S Kehar said.
The moment BCCI's counsel said that Srinivasan was still in "charge" of board's affairs, Justice Patnaik thumped the bench and said as to how he could be at the helm "when his son-in-law has been charge sheeted".
"Why he is in charge (as the BCCI President) if his son-in-law has been charge sheeted? Why you (Srinivasan) are so keen to be elected?.
"When the Supreme Court of India is hearing the matter then why you are so keen. What about your son-in-law? Hold the election but don't take charge till we decide it," Justice Patnaik said questioning the holding of elections when the apex court was seized of the matter.
"We do not know anyone. We only know cricket. We only know BCCI," the bench observed and posted the matter for hearing on Monday.
But a defiant Srinivasan said he would stand for election as "nobody" has stopped him from doing it.
"Nobody has stopped me from contesting elections and attending the AGM. Before taking my comments, kindly go through the observations made by the honourable Supreme Court.
"It states clearly that I have not been stopped from attending the AGM and I am also going to contest the election, why shall I not contest the elections?" fumed Srinivasan.
Before the bench made the stinging remarks, senior advocte Harish Salve, appearing for Cricket Association of Bihar (CAB), pressed for stay of the AGM and also entered into spat with BCCI's counsel C A Sundaram when he made an attempt to interrupt him (Salve) by saying there is no "allegation or whisper" against Srinivasan or Chennai Super King (CSK) owned by India Cements.
Salve, who raised his pitch to halt Sundaram, referred to the chargesheet filed by Mumbai police in the IPL spot-fixing case against various accused including Gurunath Meiyappan, son-in-law of Srinivasan and principal of CSK, and said the situation was "unprecedented" warranting judicial interference.
Salve said, "You (BCCI) cannot wear two hats side by side".
Citing apex court judgements, he said BCCI was involved in public functions and has been allowed to use stadiums to promote the game of cricket.
Seeking to injunct BCCI from holding AGM and elections, he said the tenure of BCCI president came to an end on September 9 and the CAB's plea be decided first.
The son-in-law of Srinivasan has been charge-sheeted by Mumbai police, Salve said, adding the charges include that he passed on information such as CSK would score 130 to 140 runs in a particular match against Rajasthan Royals and "CSK scored 141 and this is spot fixing".
Blaming the "adverse" media coverage, the counsel for Srinivasan opposed the plea against him, saying, "it is really a long shot.... It is my daugther who has chosen the son-in-law and I have no role."
The court's order came on the plea of CAB seeking interim injunction restraining Srinivasan from contesting for the post of BCCI President in the AGM to be held in Chennai.
CAB has sought a direction to BCCI that Srinivasan be not inducted in any committee of the Board till the matter pending in the apex court is decided.
The court had earlier posted for October the hearing on cross appeals filed by BCCI and CAB against the Bombay High Court's verdict declaring as illegal the probe panel appointed by the Board to look into the spot-fixing scandal.
It had on August 30 heard the petition filed by Aditya Verma, Secretary, CAB, challenging the high court's order refusing to appoint a fresh committee to probe the scam. The court had also issued notices to BCCI, Srinivasan, his company India Cements which owns IPL team Chennai Super Kings, and Rajasthan Royals on the plea.
CAB has pleaded that when the high court declared the panel of two judges as unconstitutional, it should have appointed a fresh committee to look into the issue.
The apex court had on August 7 refused to grant interim stay on high court verdict, derailing the plan of Srinivasan to return as chief of BCCI.
Srinivasan had stepped aside from discharging his duties as BCCI President in the light of spot-fixing and betting scandal which allegedly involved Chennai Super Kings team's former principal Meiyappan.
The high court order had come on July 30, just two days after the panel comprising two former judges of the Madras High Court Justices T Jayarama Chouta and R Balasubramanian, submitted its report giving a clean chit to all those against whom the probe was conducted.