New Delhi: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Narayanswamy Srinivasan may not get to be in charge immediately, though re-elected, as the Supreme Court on Monday refrained from vacating its September 27 judgement, wherein it had restrained the controversial chief from assuming charge, even if he gets elected.
The apex court also minced no words in expressing displeasure with the BCCI, specially with the controversies that has dogged the cash-rich body. It said the BCCI has “lost its credibility” and “something is seriously wrong” with its functioning.
At Sunday’s AGM in Chennai, Srinivasan was re-elected as the BCCI’s president. But the Supreme Court gave him no respite, even though he offered to stay away from IPL-related activities till the issue was resolved in court.
A bench of justices A. K. Patnaik and J. S. Khehar, however, offered him a ray of hope when it asked senior counsel Harish Salve — appearing for Aditya Verma, secretary of the Cricket Association of Bihar (CAB) — to respond to the offer made by Srinivasan. Srinivasan has offered to stay away from the IPL and restrict himself only to the other activities of the BCCI.
“One thing is true. So many things are coming out of the IPL. These things suggest that there is something wrong in the country’s top apex body. Please tell us it (Board) has lost its credibility,” the bench told the BCCI’s senior counsel A. Sundram during the arguments.
The offer to keep away from the IPL was made by Srinivasan through Sundram and C. S. Vishwanathan. But Salve, while offering to consider the same, insisted that any committee that is constituted for probing the recent spot-fixing allegations involving the BCCI chief’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan should be independent.
“Let there be somebody outside the sphere of influence (Srinivasan),” he told the court, which adjourned the matter till Monday for further hearing.
He also said that since the BCCI and IPL are inter-linked, Srinvasan’s offer did not make much difference. Justice Patnaik, during the hearing, told the BCCI counsel: “The only thing we have to see is how far you (Srinivasan) will influence the probe.”
Following this, Sundaram said Srinivasan was willing to keep away from IPL till the court resolves the issue. He also offered the names of Arun Jaitley and another senior member Binay Dutta to probe the spot-fixing row and related issues.
However, he did not elaborate. Salve, did not agree with the suggestion and said Jaitley was no more the BCCI’s vice-president and insisted that “somebody outside the sphere of influence,” should probe the allegations involving Srinivasan’s son-in-law.
Justice Khehar, who was also in the bench, said Salve should consider the suggestion of Srinivasan to keep away from the IPL and focus only on the BCCI’s functioning as its president.
“After all we have to allow the democratic process. At the same time his functioning (as board chief) should not be affected,” Justice Khehar said, as the matter stood adjourned till Monday.
The apex court is hearing two matters relating to the Special Leave Petitiion (SLP) filed by the BCCI against a Bombay High Court order quashing the two-member panel appointed to probe the recent spot fixing row and another one seeking to restrain Srinivasan from holding charge as the Board’s chief until the SLP was disposed off by the Apex court.
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 BCCI had filed the SLP.