The Supreme Court on Friday permitted the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to hold its Annual General Meeting on September 29 to elect the president, but restrained Mr. Srinivasan from taking charge if he is elected.
A bench of Justices A.K. Patnaik and J.S. Khehar passed this interim order on an application from the Cricket Association of Bihar in its special leave petition against a Bombay High Court order that quashed the report of the Justice Jayarama Chouta probe panel, which was constituted by the Board and had given clean chit to those who were investigated.
Senior counsel Aryama Sundaram, appearing for the BCCI, said the AGM could not be postponed as it was being held as per the rules. Mr. Srinivasan’s counsel Rohinton Nariman told the Bench that the Court could not entertain the application as the appeal itself was to the limited extent that the High Court did not grant the consequential relief of constituting a panel comprising retired judges to conduct an enquiry. Mr. Nariman said the present application — that Mr. Srinivasan should not contest for the post of president — was never an issue as it was given up in the High Court. Justice Patnaik, however, shot back at the counsel: “Do you think we are not aware of the pleadings? We can mould the relief.”
In a brief order, the Bench said: “List this application for further hearing on September 30. In the meanwhile, the proposed Annual General Meeting of the Board of Control for Cricket in India may be held on September 29 as scheduled and the election in the Annual General Meeting may also be held, but in case, respondent No. 2 (N. Srinivasan) is elected as the President, he will not take charge until further orders.”
Earlier senior counsel Harish Salve, appearing for the CBA, said the Maharashtra Police had filed a charge sheet against Gurunath Meiyappan, Mr. Srinivasan’s son-in-law. If Mr. Srinivasan was allowed to take back charge of the Board’s affairs, how could further investigation go on if somebody else from Chennai Super Kings came to be involved at a later stage, Mr. Salve asked.
Mr. Rohinton, quoting his client, said: “It is my daughter who has chosen Mr. Meiyappan as her husband and not me [Mr. Srinivasan] and how am I responsible for anything done by him?”
Justice Patnaik retorted: “Till yesterday your son-in-law may not be involved. But today he has been chargesheeted. Why is he [Mr. Srinivasan] in charge [as the BCCI president] if his son-in-law has been chargesheeted? Why are you so keen to be elected? Why are you keen on holding the elections when this court is seized of the matter? We do not know anyone. We only know cricket. We only know BCCI. We want financial transparency.” The CAB in its application sought an interim injunction to restrain the BCCI from inducting Mr. Srinivasan into any of its committees as a Member or in any other capacity, and from permitting him to participate in the AGM.
The CAB filed this application in a pending special leave petition filed by it against a judgment of the Bombay High Court, which quashed the Justice Jayarama Chouta probe panel’s findings. The Supreme Court while entertaining the BCCI’s appeal against the same High Court judgment had declined to stay its operation.