India news September 12, 2013

Supreme Court fails to hear BCCI-CAB case

The Supreme Court could not conduct the final hearing in the BCCI v Cricket Association of Bihar petition as it was tied up hearing other cases that were listed earlier in the day. The BCCI case was listed to be heard on Wednesday afternoon by the two-judge bench comprising Justices AK Patnaik and JS Khehar, but the court ran out of time.

"They (bench) could not hear it," a BCCI official said. "The matter was listed for 3.30 but they had no time. The bench had other matters (to hear before BCCI). So it was too late. We will wait for the matter to be listed." The next hearing date is yet to be announced.

The official said that the BCCI remained unperturbed by the development even though the board's lawyers had decided to enter the final arguments instead of the usual procedure of replying through an affidavit to the Special Leave Petition (SLP), filed by CAB.

The BCCI's decision was aimed at speeding up the hearing on the CAB appeal, which challenged the Bombay High Court order on July 30 because the court did not appoint a new committee to probe the alleged corruption in the IPL.

The main aim of this exercise is to help BCCI president N Srinivasan get his name cleared of all allegations, including his involvement in the appointment of the two-man inquiry committee. That committee had cleared the pair of Gurunath Meiyappan and Raj Kundra, who were top officials of Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals respectively, of corruption charges.

The Supreme Court bench was earlier hearing an appeal by the BCCI challenging the Bombay High Court order of July 30 that deemed as "illegal" the inquiry committee's findings. The CAB, which had filed the High Court case, also filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the High Court's decision to not appoint a new committee.

In its plea, CAB senior counsel Harish Salve argued the High Court should have formed a fresh panel, because the allegations of betting and spot-fixing in the IPL were grave and a private body like the BCCI should not be empowered to make its own findings.

In its order, which set off the current chain of events, the Bombay High Court had pointed out that there was a "degree of probability" in Srinivasan having had a role in the formation of the panel.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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