Tells Board that something is seriously wrong with it

The Supreme Court on Monday made it clear to N. Srinivasan, that he would have to wait till October 7 from taking charge as BCCI President. Mr. Srinivasan was re-elected president at the annual general meeting of the BCCI held on September 29 but he could not take charge in view of the restraint order passed by the court on September 27. During the resumed hearing on Monday, a Bench of Justices A.K. Patnaik and J.S. Khehar, told senior counsel Ariyama Sundaram, appearing for the Board: “We don’t want the Board to suffer. But how are you going to ensure that his continuance as president will not affect the probe.”Mr. Sundaram said the Maharashtra government had already filed a charge sheet in the case involving Mr. Meiyappan.

Under the BCCI constitution, the president had to discharge various functions. Mr. Sundaram assured the court that Mr. Srinivasan would not have any role in the Indian Premier League. He then suggested constitution of a committee for probing the spot fixing by a panel, to be headed either by Arun Jaitley or by Niloy Dutta.

Justice Patnaik told counsel: “We will have to see the effect of his presidentship on the free and fair probe into spot-fixing case. One thing is clear from the fact that so many things are coming from the IPL. Something is seriously wrong with the apex cricket body. Please tell us as to why BCCI has lost its credibility. Don’t be in a hurry. You [Board] give your suggestions and let the Cricket Association of Bihar respond to it.”

Senior counsel C.S. Vaidyanathan, appearing for Mr. Srinivasan, said: “I was unanimously elected president. I will have nothing against the proposed enquiry.”

Senior counsel Harish Salve, appearing for CAB, said: “Mr. Srinivasan was elected even as this court was seized of the matter.”

However, Justice Khehar intervened and observed, “It is a democratic process and we have to uphold it.”

Mr. Salve said, “IPL is part of the BCCI. Moreover, the son-in-law of Mr. Srinivasan is the principal of the team [Chennai Super Kings], which is owned by India Cements and Mr. Srinivasan is part of the company and he would wield enormous influence.”

Mr. Salve asked: “If the question of cancelling the franchise of the CSK team comes before the Board who will take the decision? The integrity of process of probe has to be maintained. The entire probe of the IPL has to be taken out of the BCCI and there must be an independent inquiry.”

However, he agreed to respond to the BCCI’s proposal and the Bench posted the matter for further hearing on October 7.

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