SC nod to postpone BCCI polls

Court proposes setting up disciplinary panel with persons of its choice to look into Mudgal Committee findings

December 11, 2014 02:17 am | Updated November 17, 2021 12:48 am IST - NEW DELHI

N. Srinivasan

N. Srinivasan

The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to postpone its annual general meeting (AGM) and election of office-bearers to January- end.

The delay has indirectly led to the present office-bearers, including N. Srinivasan who has stepped aside as BCCI president, continuing in office till January 31.

The order to postpone the elections, issued by a Bench headed by Justice T.S. Thakur, came after BCCI counsel C. Aryama Sundaram asked the court to give clear directions as BCCI bylaws required notice to be issued for the AGM three weeks in advance.

Normally held in September, the AGM has been repeatedly postponed as the Supreme Court was hearing the IPL betting scandal.

The decision to postpone the elections came at the end of a day-long hearing which saw Kapil Sibal, counsel for Mr. Srinivasan, assure the Bench that if elected president, his client would stay away from BCCI governing council meetings on the Indian Premier League (IPL) till rules and procedure on conflict of interest in the cricket format are framed.

His assurance came even as the Bench was considering the setting up of a disciplinary committee with persons of its choice to look into the prima facie findings of the Justice Mukul Mudgal Committee report on the IPL betting scandal, fix liability and identify conflict-of-interest zones and procedure in the cricket format.

In its arguments, the BCCI raised apprehensions of whether the court’s committee would infringe on its autonomy. It said the Board had “able people” who could take care of situations of conflict of interest.

Mr. Sundaram objected to an “external agency” taking over the functions of the BCCI.

He said the IPL format was a departure from the usual. “Here cricket is a medium for business,” he said.

To this, Justice Thakur orally observed that the “business angle itself rests on the confidence of the people”. If the public knows that the game is fake, all your bids, auctions and business formula will collapse,” he observed.

The Bench added that it was intervening to keep intact the public confidence in the game. It dismissed the BCCI’s apprehensions about the disciplinary committee as “premature.”

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