New Delhi: Narayanswamy Srinivasan suffered a setback on Friday.
The Supreme Court restrained him from taking charge as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president even if he gets re-elected at the Chennai AGM, on Sunday.
A bench of justices A K Patnaik and J S Khehar, however, gave him a glimmer of hope as it decided to hear on Monday further arguments on the validity of Srinivasan’s continuance as the BCCI chief in the event of his election; and also the probe panel constituted by the BCCI to investigate the IPL spot-fixing scam, allegedly involving his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan.
The probe panel of two retired judges appointed by the BCCI in the wake of the spot-fixing row was earlier quashed by the Bombay High Court, following which the Board had filed a Special Leave Petition (SLP).
A cross appeal was filed by Aditya Verma, secretary of Cricket Association of Bihar seeking an injunction to restrain Srinivasan from contesting the Sunday’s election until the SLP is disposed of.
The apex court was upset that Srinivasan has decided to contest the elections despite the allegations of spot-fixing against his son-in-law.
“Why is he still at the helm if his son-in-law is involved? What if you defer the elections till Monday?” a Justice Patnaik said, banging his fist on the table.
Justice Patnaik also asked senior counsel Harish Salve, who was appearing for Aditya Verma and Aryaman Sundaram, representing the Board, not to get too “excited.”
“Even if you get excited, we will not”, Patnaik remarked when Salve and Sundaram had exchange of words.
Even as Sundaram was trying to convince the bench that Srinivasan would have no say in the conduct of the elections, Justice Patnaik questioned him as to why the BCCI was determined to conduct the elections on Sunday.
“Why are you so keen to be elected. Why do you want to hold the election when the Supreme Court is seized off the matter? We know everything about BCCI and cricket,” Justice Patnaik said.
Senior counsel and former solicitor general Rohinton Nariman, appearing for Srinivasan, also had a tough time in trying to convince the bench that the elections be permitted on Sunday.
“Till yesterday your son-in-law was not involved. But today they say your son-in-law was involved and if he (Srinivasan) takes control of the BCCI...” the bench told the counsel when he insisted that no injunction should be passed against the conduct of the elections.
Earlier, Salve read out certain portions from the chargesheet filed by the Mumbai Police recently against Gurunath to prove his alleged involvement in the spot-fixing scandal. The counsel disputed the arguments of Sundaram that since BCCI was not a state no writ petition could be filed against the Board, which was a society.
A writ petition is filed for enforcing a person's fundamental right or seeking a directive to an official to carry out certain duties and responsibilities conferred upon the incumbent as per a statute or constitution.