However, TNCA secretary S Ramaswamy told mid-day that Gurunath will not resign as the association’s president
TNCA president Rupa Gurunath
Former ICC and BCCI boss N Srinivasan’s daughter, Rupa Gurunath, on Thursday was guilty of conflict of interest by BCCI Ombudsman and ethics officer Justice DK Jain.
Acting upon Indore-based Sanjeev Gupta’s complaint last November that Gurunath is occupying more than one post at a single time (president of Tamil Nadu Cricket Association and full-time director in India Cements Limited whose subsidiary company is Chennai Super Kings Limited), Justice Jain directed her to relinquish one of the posts.
However, TNCA secretary S Ramaswamy told mid-day that Gurunath will not resign as the association’s president. “We have received the judgment and our legal team will assess it before giving appropriate suggestions. She is not resigning as TNCA chief at the moment,” he said.
Gupta had alleged that Gurunath has an indirect relationship with the directors of Chennai Super Kings Limited (CSKL) as she is also on the board of subsidiary companies of India Cements Limited (ICL), thus giving rise to a conflict of interest under Rule 38(1)(i) of the BCCI constitution.
Gupta also highlighted the fact that ICL and CSKL share the same official address along with other subsidiary companies. Representing Gurunath, senior counsel PR Raman pleaded that her duty as TNCA president has never been compromised by being on the Board of ICL or its subsidiary companies, where other CSKL directors have also been present. Raman also denied during multiple hearings that Gurunath has any close association with CSKL or any of its directors.
However, Gupta placed various facts before Justice Jain to prove that ICL is CSK’s sponsor and that TNCA’s stadium MA Chidambaram Stadium at Chepauk is used for CSK’s matches and practice during the IPL.
“The concept of conflict of interest is not necessarily a question of something one does or intends to do but a question of what can possibly or potentially be done,” noted Justice Jain in his judgement.
While rejecting Gurunath’s plea that CSKL has no stake in ICL, Justice Jain said: “In view of the connections between ICL and CSKL, undoubtedly, the respondent [Gurunath] has at least indirect [if not direct] interest in CSKL, which has entered into an agreement/contract with the BCCI, thus, attracting one of the forms of conflict of interest, enumerated in Rule 38(1)(i). For all the aforesaid reasons, the Ethics Officer is of the view that a case of conflict of interest is made out against the respondent [Gurunath].”