The Supreme Court asked the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Monday to submit a note on the financial model of the Indian Premier League teams for the auction of players and the recovery of money by the franchises. Arguments will continue on December 8.
At the last hearing in the IPL case, the Bench comprising Justices T.S. Thakur and Ibrahim Kalifulla had raised the issue of conflict of interest as Mr. Srinivasan was the owner of a franchise, Chennai Super Kings, and his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan was held guilty by the Mudgal committee for being a “team official” involved in betting. The court had said that Mr. Meiyappan’s role in the team was similar to “insider trading.”
On Monday, referring to the contentions of Harish Salve and Nalini Chidambaram, counsel for the petitioner, the Cricket Association of Bihar, Mr. Sibal said, “Their one-point agenda is to remove me [Srinivasan] and cancel the franchise of CSK.” He said the petitioner had given up all the prayers relating to “conflict of interest” in the Bombay High Court and the allegations were being raised in the Supreme Court for the first time.
Justice Thakur observed that irrespective of that, he must prove that there was no conflict of interest, “which is the core issue.” “The question is not whether something was raised in the writ petition in the High Court or not, but is there a conflict of interest. Show us that there is no conflict of interest from the facts before the Mudgal report,” the judge said.
Mr. Sibal said Mr. Srinivasan volunteered to step down till he was cleared of the charges.
Explaining the sequence of events, counsel said: “Mr. Meiyappan was arrested in May last year and within two days the BCCI lodged a complaint against him and India Cements which owns CSK. Thereafter, a two-member commission was set up to inquire into the allegations, but Mr. Srinivasan had scrupulously kept out of the selection of the members and the proceedings. Mr. Srinivasan also resigned from the Governing Council of the BCCI and stayed away from its day-to-day administration.”
When Ms. Chidambaram alleged that Mr. Srinivasan was wearing several hats such as BCCI chief and India Cements promoter, Mr. Sibal said it was not unusual as even players and umpires had donned several roles in the past. He said Vijay Mallya was administrator of the Karnataka Cricket Association as well as owner of Kingfisher which played a role in the IPL. .