SLP questions BCCI amendment to a rule

The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and its Secretary N. Srinivasan on a petition questioning the BCCI amendment to a rule which enabled administrators to be part of the Indian Premier League, the Champions League and Twenty20.

A Bench of Justice J.M. Panchal and Justice R.M. Lodha issued notice on a special leave petition filed by former BCCI president, A.C. Muthiah, against a judgment of the Madras High Court that upheld the amendment to the rule. The Bench after hearing senior counsel Harish salve for the petitioner and senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi, Uday U. Lalit and Rohinton Nariman for the respondents issued notice and posted the matter for final hearing in the second week of August.

Prior to the amendment, clause 6.2.4 of the regulations for players, team officials, umpires and administrators, said: “No administrator shall have, directly or indirectly, any commercial interest in the matches and events conducted by the board.” But after the amendment, the clause said: “No administrator shall have directly or indirectly any commercial interest in any of the events of the BCCI excluding the IPL, the Champions League and the Twenty20.”

Mr. Muthiah in his SLP questioned the continuance of N. Srinivasan as BCCI secretary after his company became the successful bidder for Chennai Super Kings of the IPL. However, at the general body meeting held on September 26, 2009, the amendment was introduced. The High Court upheld the amendment and dismissed a suit. .

Mr. Salve quoting the additional affidavit filed by Mr. Muthiah said “India Cements Ltd, the franchise holder for Chennai Super Kings for which Mr. Srinivasan is the vice-president along with Jaipur Cricket Private Ltd, franchise holder for Rajasthan Royals was compensated for the cancellation of champions league T20 to an extent of Rs. 47 crore by the BCCI and this was approved by the Governing Council meeting.”

When Justice Lodha wanted to know whether Mr. Srinivasan attended the meeting, Mr. Salve said Mr. Srinivasan participated in the meeting. However, Mr. Nariman told the court “I have instructions to say that Mr. Srinivasan did not participate in the meeting.” However, Mr. Salve maintained that as per the minutes of the meeting he had participated. This was a valid ground for staying the monstrous rule, he said.

The SLP said that Mr. Srinivasan was disqualified from holding the post of an office-bearer in the BCCI in as much as he had a direct “conflict of interest” with the BCCI for, he had a commercial interest in the IPL (a separate sub-committee unit of the BCCI). It sought quashing of the impugned order and an interim stay of the rule.

Keywords: BCCIIPLChampions League

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