India news March 26, 2014

Srinivasan exploring legal options

In the day between the Supreme Court's stinging remarks against him and the expiry of the court's ultimatum to step down, BCCI president N Srinivasan is believed to be exploring his legal options. One option is for Srinivasan - who underwent cataract surgery on Wednesday - to step down, in line with the court's wishes; the other is for him to brazen it out and, if justices AK Patnaik and Ibrahim Kalifulla do carry out their threat to unseat him, go into appeal.

However, going the appeal way - through review or curative petitions - might not prove to be helpful, a senior BCCI official well versed with the legal procedures told ESPNcricinfo. "Generally both avenues are restricted provisions. The review itself is a very, very restrictive jurisdiction. Thereafter, curative petition is far more restrictive." the BCCI official said. "Normal prudence demands one should comply with the observations."

The first option available to Srinivasan would be to file a review application. A review is not a challenge, the official said. "It is just an opportunity to point out that are some errors on the face of the record that need to be rectified. It is entirely up to the judges to decide whether to admit a review or not."

Filing a review is a two-step process. "If the plea is justified the judges might allow the review application and open it for a new hearing," the official said. "Suppose the judges feel that grounds in the review application require an open hearing from the counsels. A final call would then be taken on whether the review can be accepted."

If the court dismisses the review, Srinivasan has one more avenue: the curative petition. This application is also heard by the judges in their chambers and it is their discretion whether or not to consider the plea.

The official said that Srinivasan, if he does resign and is replaced by an interim BCCI president, can make a comeback at the elections in September provided the inquiry has been concluded and Srinivasan receives a clean chit. He also made it clear that the court ruling would not have any bearing on Srinivasan's position at the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA), of which he is the president.

According to another BCCI insider, Srinivasan's next move would be to "buy time". The ideal scenario for Srinivasan would be to ensure that the matter is delayed through legal arguing about his willingness to "stand aside" rather than resigining until the probe is completed. This scenario could lead to a situation where the case is pushed to its next hearing a month later, towards the end of April, just before the Supreme Court's month-long summer break in May. When the court resumes, a new judge will have to be appointed to the case as Justice Patnaik is due to retire from June 3.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo