India news February 27, 2014

Court admits PIL relating to Srinivasan conflict of interest issue

ESPNcricinfo staff

The Bombay High Court has admitted a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Aditya Verma, the secretary of Cricket Association of Bihar (CAB), on Thursday, in relation to BCCI president N Srinivasan's alleged conflict of interest. Verma has contended that the BCCI regulations were amended to suit Srinivasan's company, India Cements, owning an IPL franchise.

Verma had earlier filed a PIL challenging BCCI's amendments to rule 6.2.4 of the 'regulation for players, team officials, managers, umpires and administrators'. According to the earlier clause, no administrator could have direct or indirect commercial interest in the matches or events conducted by the BCCI. The amendment excluded events like IPL or Champions League Twenty20 from the ambit of the regulation in order to let Srinivasan own an IPL franchise, alleges the PIL.

In addition to this, Verma's new petition objects to the latest amendment to the BCCI rules and regulation that allows a BCCI president to continue in the post even after completing a full term of three years. The PIL challenges that the rules were modified only to suit Srinivasan and allow him to continue in office.

After going through the arguments of both sides, a bench comprising Justice SJ Vazifdar and Justice BP Colabawalla decided to jointly hear the petitions on March 24. The court has asked CAB to furnish more details to emphasise the amendment made with regards to ownership in 2008 was specifically done to suit Srinivasan. The BCCI has been asked to respond to the questions over the amendments in rules and regulations governing the presidency tenure.

CAB's PIL is similar to the petition filed by former BCCI president AC Muthiah, who had challenged the amendments on the grounds of conflict of interest. Following a dismissal of a petition by the Madras High Court, Muthiah had moved the Supreme Court in April 2010, but withdrew his appeal in October 2013.