The Supreme Court Monday expressed strong displeasure against N Srinivasan for presiding over the BCCI’s working committee to decide the date for the cricket body’s polls and clarified that he cannot contest the elections until Justice RM Lodha panel submitted its report to bring in transparency in the functioning of the cricket body.
A bench headed by Justice TS Thakur said as per its January 22 judgment Srinivasan cannot contest until the report is ready.The elections are fixed for March 2.
After the SC debarred Srinivasan from contesting BCCI polls on the ground of conflict of interest, the India Cements owner had decided to divest his shares in IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings. But, court’s latest observations are likely to put Srinivasan in a fix over his future in world’s richest cricket body.
The court is hearing Cricket Association of Bihar’s contempt petition against Srinivasan. The bench gave time to his lawyer, senior advocate Kapil Sibal to respond to the allegations of violation of court order by Srinivasan. Sibal will address on February 26.
The bench initially wanted to issue contempt notices to Srinivasan, acting president Shivlal Yadav, board Secretary Sanjay Patel and Treasurer Aniruddh Chaudhary on the petition but refrained on Sibal’s persuasion.
Justice Thakur said: “Once the investigations (Mudgal panel) had been completed and there is a finding in the judgment that there was a conflict of interests and you are not eligible for contesting….if you are not eligible for contesting then can you be eligible to preside?”
CAB’s counsel, senior advocate Nalini Chidambaram drew court’s attention to a specific direction holding none of the board officials having commercial interests in IPL shall contest the polls.
“What follows from the order is that there is a conflict of interests with his duties as president. That is the essence of the order,” Justice Thakur told Sibal, referring to Chidambaram’s arguments.
Sibal said as per the prevailing rules the board’s president has to preside. “He is not taking any decisions. Elections will be held on March 2. He has only fixed the date,” the senior counsel said. He added polls have to be held by March 5 in terms of the SC order to complete the elections in 6 weeks.