The Supreme Court on Tuesday reserved its verdict on the petition filed by ex-BCCI president A C Muthiah challenging the amendment in the Cricket Board's regulations to exclude IPL and T-20 tournaments from its purview allegedly to favour its secretary N Srinivasan who owns the Chennai Super Kings squad.
A Bench comprising Justices J M Panchal and Gyan Sudha Mishra concluded the marathon hearing to examine the validity of the amendment in clause 6.2.4, which Mutiah alleged was done without following the proper procedure.
Muthiah has appealed against the Madras High Court's order upholding the validity of the amendment alleging that "the new regulation was brought only to favour N Srinivasan" who was the treasurer of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) when he was bidding for the Chennai team.
Senior advocate Abhishekh Singhvi, appearing for Muthiah, has contended that under the unamended clause, no administrator of BCCI could have, directly or indirectly, any commercial interest in the matches or events conducted by the Board.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohtagi, appearing for Srinivasan, has submitted that there was nothing wrong in the administrator donning the role of the Secretary, contesting the post of President and owning an IPL team CSK.
Muthiah has said there is a conflict of interest as the Chennai team is owned by Indian Cement Ltd in which Srinivasan is a shareholder, Vice President and Managing Director.
Singhvi informed the court about the sequence of events from the start of IPL in 2007 to the amendment of the clause in September 2008 to buttress the point that the change in the rule was brought out in an illegal manner to benefit Srinivasan as there was a conflict of interest.
He contended that the decision to exclude IPL and T-20 tournaments from the purview of the Board's regulation was "illegal and opposed to public policy."
Singhvi said while Srinivasan was bidding for the Chennai team in January 2008, Muthiah had made a complaint to BCCI citing the regulation that no member of the board will have commercial interest in IPL.
He said Srinivasan, who has controlling mind and power for Indian Cement Ltd, was having commercial interests while bidding for Chennai team.
Singhvi further said the amendment was brought at BCCI's AGM on September 27, 2008, without bringing the issue in the agenda for which a notice would have been given 21 days in advance.