The IPL Mess August 24, 2011

Srinivasan faces petition against BCCI presidency

ESPNcricinfo staff
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A two-judge bench of India's Supreme Court has asked former BCCI president AC Muthiah to approach the Chief Justice of India over his petition to stop the board's president-elect N Srinivasan from officially taking over as president at next month's annual general meeting.

According to PTI, Muthiah's petition is based on the grounds that in April, a two-judge bench returned a split verdict on whether there was a conflict of interest concerning Srinivasan's ownership of the Chennai Super Kings while being an office bearer of the board. The verdict meant the case had to be referred to a larger bench, and Muthiah contended that since it was yet to come up for hearing, it would be inappropriate to continue allowing Srinivasan to discharge his duties as an office bearer.

"This Hon'ble Court may be pleased to grant an order of interim injunction restraining the second respondent [Srinivasan] from functioning as the Secretary of the first respondent BCCI or assume office as the president," Muthiah pleaded.

However, Justices Altamas Kabir and S S Nijjar chose not to issue an order on the fresh application, directing Muthiah's counsel, Nalini Chidambaram, to approach the Chief Justice.

In April, Justices JM Panchal and Gyan Sudha Mishra disagreed on the legality of the amendment to the BCCI constitution allowing Srinivasan to be part-owner of the Chennai Super Kings while being a serving member of the board.

The BCCI had amended clause 6.2.4 of the regulations for players, team officials, umpires and administrators in September 2008, shortly after the first season of the IPL. Before the amendment the clause read: "No administrator shall have, directly or indirectly, any commercial interest in the matches and events conducted by the board." After the change, it read: "No administrator shall have directly or indirectly any commercial interest in any of the events of the BCCI, excluding IPL, Champions League and Twenty20."

Muthiah's argument was that the exclusion of IPL and Twenty20 events was made specifically to benefit Srinivasan. In September 2010, Mishra had suggested Srinivasan resign from his position in the board .

"You introduce an amendment where the IPL will be an exception. You are a prominent industrialist holding a key position in the board and have a stake in the bidding," Mishra had told Srinivasan at the time. "In order to avoid suspicion and be above board, you should have got your membership suspended.

"Our nagging question is: can you continue in a dual capacity? That is the core issue."