BCCI asked to explain why the rule change for IPL team
The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Indian cricket board and its secretary N.Srinivasan to respond to former board chief AC Muthiah's challenge to the board's amended rules which allow its office bearers to hold the Indian Premier League franchise.
Prior to the rules were amended, these prohibited the office-bearers of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) from engaging in activities that conflicted with its commercial interests. Srinivasan is the managing director (MD) and vice-chairman of India Cements Limited that owns Chennai Super Kings.
The apex court bench of Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan, Justice Deepak Verma and Justice BS Chauhan issued the notice after the court was told that amendments were brought about after the rules that forbade the conflict of commercial interest had already been breached by Srinivasan.
Senior counsel Harish Salve appeared for Muthiah and senior counsel R. Nariman and Mukul Rohtagi appeared for the BCCI.
The court was told that Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, the two of the eight teams chosen for aborted 2008 Champions League T20, were paid a compensation Rs. 47 crore. Of this amount Rs. 20.80 crore was approved by the governing council of Champions League and Rs 26.20 crore was approved by the governing council of the IPL. The amount was paid by the BCCI as an ad-hoc compensation for the cancelled tournament.
Muthiah's petition has challenged the Madras High Court's refusal to pass interim orders on two counts: directing the BCCI to drop Srinivasan from the BCCI, and stay the limited amendment of the rule that barred the BCCI office-bearers from indulging in activities that conflicted with interest of the cricket board.
The petition said: "The high court erroneously dismissed the appeal on the grounds of locus and declined to go into the merits of the case".
Soon after India Cements Ltd. secured the franchise of the Chennai Super Kings, Muthiah made a representation to the BCCI that since Srinivasan was the MD of the India Cements his continuation in the BCCI had become untenable.
Subsequently, the BCCI introduced an amendment that said the rule barring the conflict of commercial interest would hold good for all the activities of the BCCI except for the IPL. Incidentally, the IPL is the biggest money spinning venture of the BCCI.
Muthiah moved the Madras High Court seeking interim direction for dissociating Srinivasan from the BCCI and challenging the amendment that permitted Srinivasan from owning a franchise of Chennai Super Kings.