In a fresh setback to N Srinivasan, the Supreme Court on Thursday rejected his second attempt to get reinstated as the BCCI chief on the contention that none of the players named by the Justice Mukul Mudgal probe panel had been restrained from playing IPL matches.
In his petition, Srinivasan termed the SC orders of March 28 and May 16 barring him from functioning as the cricket body’s top man as harsh, saying he had been singled out for such a treatment. The SC has appointed Sunil Gavaskar as IPL interim chief and board vice-president Shivlal Yadav to head the rest of the board’s functions.
Srinivasan was barred after the Mudgal panel in its report to the court blamed him for not acting against cricketers allegedly indulging in spot-fixing during the last IPL season. The court on May 16 empowered the Mudgal panel to further probe the allegations against 12 cricketers and Srinivasan mentioned in its report submitted to SC in a sealed cover.
A vacation bench of Justice BS Chauhan and Justice AK Sikri dismissed Srinivasan’s plea, coming down heavily on his lawyers for petitioning the court during the summer break. It said it would be inappropriate to modify the orders passed by the bench of Justice AK Patnaik and Justice Ibrahim Kalifulla and suggested he approach regular court.
“What can be more embarrassing for a vacation bench than to modify a regular bench order? We are not going to take up the matter,” the bench told senior counsel Nagendra Rai, appearing for Srinivasan. Justice Patnaik is due for retirement on June 3. This made Rai withdraw the application without arguing further.
Srinivasan’s fresh application said: “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 Hon’ble 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 Hon’ble Court.”
He contended that he was the only one facing the stigma of being restricted from functioning as BCCI president while the players facing allegations were playing.
Srinivasan said he had no objection to the Mudgal panel carrying out a fresh but claimed that grave prejudice has been done to him by restraining from functioning as board chief. He argued that the SC having posted the next hearing only for the end of September, after it receives fresh probe verdict in August, meant his term as BCCI chief would have ended.