Calcutta: As if the setback in the Bombay High Court over the composition of its inquiry commission wasn’t bad enough, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has been stung by a restraining order obtained by persona non grata Lalit Kumar Modi.
Outmanoeuvred and hassled, it is now moving on two fronts.
Firstly, the BCCI will challenge the September 25 SGM-specific order by the capital’s additional district judge, Ruby Alka Gupta. It’s assumed that the Delhi High Court would be moved on Monday.
Secondly, the BCCI is bracing for “more litigation” on the same lines as Modi, aimed at stalling the September 29 AGM and Narayanswamy Srinivasan’s bid for a third year as president.
Set to be banned for life, Modi has contended that the entire post-June 2 arrangement in the BCCI — namely a president who stepped aside and a day-to-day president (Jagmohan Dalmiya) — is illegal.
Exactly that point was made by ally and former BCCI president Inderjit Singh Bindra during (and after) the emergent working committee meeting that day in Chennai.
Nobody listened to Bindra then, though The Telegraph wrote more than once that the arrangement just wasn’t provided for in the BCCI’s Memorandum of Rules & Regulations, which serves as its constitution.
As with the other notices, the one for the SGM has been signed by the secretary. In this case Sanjay Patel, who got the position after Sanjay Jagdale’s resignation in the lead-up to June 2.
Well-placed sources in the BCCI insist that Patel’s appointment is perfectly in order (under Article 13 A-II), signed by Srinivasan, who never resigned as president.
That’s critical, but there may not be unanimity in interpretation.
Modi’s argument has been around which president instructed Patel to call the SGM — Srinivasan or Dalmiya, who has been functioning as interim president?
The BCCI’s constitution provides for one president. So, which one?
In fact, Modi’s legal team also successfully argued before judge Gupta that Patel’s appointment, too, wasn’t legal.
If Srinivasan indeed stepped aside, how could he sign the letter of appointment?
The BCCI maintains that Srinivasan had to “fulfil the statutory requirements.”
Technically, the minutes of the emergent working committee meeting make no mention of ‘interim president’. That the day-to-day affairs would be looked after by Dalmiya, till the BCCI’s inquiry into the IPL issues concluded, is of course there.
For the record, Article 13 A-II reads: “In the event of a vacancy occurring of an office-bearer, vice-president, chairman or member of a standing committee or other committees by reason of death or by his being adjudged insolvent or by his being convicted of a criminal offence involving moral turpitude or by resignation, the president shall fill up such a vacancy and the person so appointed shall hold office till the following AGM.”
Bindra, meanwhile, is tweeting with gay abandon and has again torn into Srinivasan and his tainted son-in-law, Gurunath Meiyappan.
Speaking exclusively, Bindra (the Punjab Cricket Association president) said: “I’m not concerned with numbers and votes... I’m out to expose corruption, even if it means inviting action by the BCCI... I will not back off.”
Given the environment and Srinivasan’s hold, Bindra needs luck.