The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to allow N. Srinivasan to function as Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president so long as the probe into IPL betting and spot-fixing allegations is going on.
A Bench of Justices A.K. Patnaik and Ibrahim Kalifulla said there were 12 allegations against Mr. Srinivasan, who has been named along with 12 prominent cricketers, in the report of Justice Mudgal Committee submitted to the apex court in a sealed cover.
"It [report] said all these allegations were brought to his [Mr. Srinivasan's] notice but he did not take any action. That means he was aware of the allegations and did not take them seriously. Mr. Srinivasan's name was the 13th and he had 12 allegations against him. He can't become BCCI president as long as the probe is on,” Justice Patnaik told senior counsel Aryama Sundaram, appearing for the BCCI.
Mr. Sundaram had urged the court to allow Mr. Srinivasan to discharge his functions as the BCCI president as there was nothing in the probe panel's report against him.
The Bench said it was not inclined to order a CBI or an SIT probe as it would sully the image of cricketers and undermine the autonomy of the cricket board.
"Having come to know the nature of allegations, we cannot close our eyes. We are not considering an SIT probe because we don't want the CBI or the police or the media to throw mud on cricketers. Reputations of cricketers and great names are at stake. What happens to the reputation of the players who are representing the country and Indian cricketers of the future? Cricket has to be clean, but institutional autonomy has to be maintained," Justice Patnaik said.
Taking note of a communication from Sunil Gavaskar, the interim president for IPL-7, asking the court to take a decision on whether IPL Chief Operating Officer Sundar Raman should continue or not, the Bench said in the interest of the game it was allowing Mr. Raman to continue to function as COO of IPL-7, which began on Wednesday in Abu Dhabi.
The Bench asked the BCCI and Mr. Srinivasan to respond by April 22 on how the probe should be conducted into the allegations. It also agreed to hear the BCCI’s plea seeking tapes of audio recording of interactions of the Mudgal committee members with Indian skipper M.S. Dhoni and Mr. Srinivasan. It asked the committee to appoint an amicus to assist the court and to make his submissions on the request of the BCCI.