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Court’s blow to selfish Srini

New Delhi: Narayanswamy Srinivasan on Thursday suffered a fresh setback after the Supreme Court declined to entertain his plea for reinstatement as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)’s chief.

Srinivasan, effectively suspended president of the BCCI, argued that none of the players named by the Justice Mukul Mudgal panel have been restrained from playing in the IPL VII, whereas, he alone has been singled out for harsh treatment.

But a vacation bench of Justices Balbir Singh Chauhan and Arjan Kumar Sikri declined to modify the two concurrent orders passed on March 28 and May 16 restraining Srinivasan from officiating as BCCI chief and appointing Sunil Gavaskar as interim Board president for IPL-related matters and Shivlal Yadav for non-IPL matters.

The bench said it would not be appropriate for a vacation bench to modify the order of a regular bench passed by Justices Ananga Kumar Patnaik and Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla and suggested that he could approach the regular bench for appropriate relief.

In effect, Srinivasan still has an option of approaching the regular bench by way of a fresh application.

“We are not going to take up the matter. We are not here to modify any order.

“Justice Patnaik is in town, you can make an application before him.

“What can be more embarrassing for a vacation bench than to modify a regular bench order?

“Where is the respondent? Should we not hear him? Is the Supreme Court vacation bench meant only for modifying the orders?” the bench asked senior counsel Nagendra Rai, appearing for Srinivasan, while rejecting the application. The counsel then withdrew from the court without arguing further.

“That it is respectfully submitted that the aforesaid order dated 28.03.2014 restraining the applicant herein from functioning as the president of the BCCI has been passed by this Honourable Court without taking into consideration that there is no material whatsoever on record to substantiate the allegations of betting and or spot-fixing against the applicant or even of non-cooperation with the -probe panel constituted by this Honourable Court.

“It is further significant to mention that none of the players against whom any wrong-doing is alleged have been restrained from participating in the IPL-2014 and it is only the applicant who is having to face the stigma of restriction from functioning as the President of BCCI despite the probe-panel itself submitting before this Honourable Court that the allegations against the applicant were unestablished,” Srinivasan said in his application.

Srinivasan submitted that he has no objection to the Justice Mudgal probe panel further investigating the allegations against him along with other persons, but claimed grave prejudice has been caused to him after being restrained from functioning as the BCCI chief.

He pointed out that the apex court on May 16, while entrusting further probe to the Justice Mudgal panel had decided to hear the matter again only at the end of September, by which time, his term would end.

“The applicant, therefore, if not permitted to act and function as the President of BCCI with immediate effect at least with respect to the non-IPL-2014 related activities having no nexus with the probe would suffer irreparable harm and injury,” the application added.