India news April 16, 2014

Court keeps Srinivasan out of BCCI

ESPNcricinfo staff

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The Supreme Court has turned down N Srinivasan's reinstatement request, and has revealed that he is one of the 13 named in the sealed envelope submitted to it by the Justice Mudgal committee. In response to the BCCI counsel CA Sundaram's argument that the court was responding only to prima facie evidence and not secondary evidence, Justice AK Patnaik for the first time revealed details about the sealed envelope. He said that there were 13 names of "very important personalities in cricket" in the sealed envelope, with Srinivasan's name being the 13th. There were 12 allegations against Srinivasan with annexures to each of them. "It seems that Mr Srinivasan has not taken the allegations seriously," he said.

Patnaik said Srinivasan "could not come back as BCCI president as long as the probe is on." A day before the court hearing on Wednesday, Srinivasan had filed an affidavit, asking the court to reconsider its interim order that removed him as the BCCI president while the probe into the alleged corruption in the IPL was on. The court, though, reiterated that a fair probe would not be possible with him discharging any duties inside the BCCI.

It further asked the BCCI to come back to the next hearing, on April 22, with constructive corrective measures with regard to how it can ensure a free and fair probe into the IPL corruption scandal. The measures could involve a Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe or selecting its own other independent investigators, but it stipulated that the probe had to be conducted by a credible team. If the BCCI was to be given the power to investigate the matter, it had to be done without prejudice and the mandatory condition that "Srinivasan cannot come back."

The court said that "we cannot close our eyes," but did not impose an independent probe in the matter. "We are not considering a SIT because we don't want the CBI or the police or the media to throw mud on cricketers," Patnaik said. "Reputations of cricketers and great names are at stake. What happens to the reputation of the players who are representing the country and Indian cricketers of the future. Cricket has to be clean but institutional autonomy has to be maintained."

There was some relief for the BCCI. Sundar Raman, the chief operating officer (COO) of the IPL, whose future was to be decided by acting BCCI president Sunil Gavaskar, was allowed to continue in his role. Gavaskar stated that he was not in a position to take a decision on Sundar as he knew him in a personal capacity and was unaware of the details of the information that investigating agencies had against Sundar.

The hearing on April 22 will also look into several matters related to the many ramifications of the IPL corruption scandal. Patnaik said the court will look into the amended clause in the BCCI constitution that allowed Srinivasan to own a team in the IPL as well as him being sent as a board nominee to ICC meetings. There is also a possibility that G Sampath Kumar, the Chennai police officer whose deposition formed part of the Mudgal committee's report, will be asked to depose before the court on April 22. The details of his deposition were found in Mudgal committee member Nilay Dutta's additional comments to the main report. Dutta is a member of the Assam Cricket Association. Deccan Chargers may also be introduced as part of the arbitration pertaining to the matter of their resurrection.

The court will also appoint an amicus curae, a lawyer who is not part of the case, to report to them about the existence or otherwise of transcripts and recordings of the depositions to the Mudgal committee. So far it is understood that the court has been provided with minutes of the 52 interviews conducted by the panel in the course of its investigation. The BCCI's counsel had previously contested the Mudgal committee's findings and had requested for the tapes the findings were based on.

The case dates back to June 2013 when the Cricket Association of Bihar secretary Aditya Verma raised charges of conflict of interest in the formation of BCCI's two-member inquiry panel into the IPL corruption issue. A Bombay High Court ruling later termed the probe panel "illegal". The BCCI and the CAB filed petitions in the Supreme Court against this order, with the CAB contending that the Bombay High Court could have suggested a fresh mechanism to look into the corruption allegations.

The Supreme Court then appointed a three-member committee, headed by former High Court judge Mukul Mudgal and comprising additional solicitor general L Nageswara Rao and Dutta, in October 2013, to conduct an independent inquiry into the allegations of corruption against Srinivasan's son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, India Cements, and Rajasthan Royals team owner Jaipur IPL Cricket Private Ltd, as well as with the larger mandate of allegations around betting and spot-fixing in IPL matches and the involvement of players. The committee had submitted its findings to the court on February 10.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • V.K. on April 18, 2014, 0:22 GMT

    Testing time for the BCCI indeed! Conflict of interest is nothing new for India. Being part of BCCI is not a life time job and they have to have another role or run a business. India Cements is associated with cricket for decades and it's employees will always have something to do with cricket. Politicians, movie stars, police and now the judiciary. All would love to "save the cricket" in India. Those who are getting excited about the judiciary should be cautious. Two Indian sporting organisations ( Olympic Assn / Indian Hockey) sought the help of the courts to sort out their problems and we all know what happened to those organisations.

  • Keith on April 17, 2014, 19:29 GMT

    The cricket may yet be saved from its own administrators by court actions such as this. Even the serious work of the Indian Supreme Court in the IPL corruption case does not directly reach the even more insidious machinations of the Big 3 (India, England, Australia) within the ICC. It is my fervent prayer that wisdom can be found in the judiciary, or better yet somewhere in the halls of cricket governance, to at least slow down the terrible impetus that has built up around money and power within the sport over the past five years. The beauty and wonder of the cricket are at stake. Let us follow the urge for equality and transparency expressed recently by the Pakistan board, and take a completely different route to changing cricket governance. For the love of the sport, call a Cricket Constitutional Convention! In the meantime, I boycott IPL season 7. Every bit of play reminds me of the off-field pursuit of corruption.

  • san on April 17, 2014, 18:42 GMT

    I heard that Justice Patnaik is going to retire in a month or two.... Hopefully they finish the inquiry by then and give the final verdict.... otherwise there is every chance that a cover-up panel will be setup, just like the first one...

  • Dummy4 on April 17, 2014, 4:48 GMT

    Good decision by the supreme court.N.Srinivasan should be axed and the 12 names should be revealed.

  • Senthil on April 16, 2014, 22:06 GMT

    Whatever is in that envelope, those are just allegations! The SC wants to conduct a fair enquiry, but we'd be jumping the gun and second guessing the course of law if we think any of those names are automatically guilty.

  • Ashok on April 16, 2014, 21:30 GMT

    The Supreme court has kept the Flag of Justice flying high by denying Mr. Srinivasan his request. In addition they clearly directed his attention to the charges which he is taking so lightly. It is about time that we have some fair play in sports by making it void of politics & corrupt practices. The law should be applied in the same manner to an ordinary guy as to the Rich & powerful. The Supreme Court is not mincing any words by pointing out facts as they are. I say Bravo to Supreme Court for upholding high standards of Justice!

  • Dummy4 on April 16, 2014, 18:41 GMT

    The way. the Apex Courts have suggested many options on the forthcoming forms of Probe, which will involve a hell of a lot of time consumption in completion of the selected mode of the Probe !

    The dreams of Srini to become the ICC President in July 2014 Seem to have been shattered once and for all ,unless some spectacular& unforeseen miracle happens in the interrugnum !

  • Dummy4 on April 16, 2014, 18:03 GMT

    Why cant they declare the name ? So what happens if the greats are to be questioned? isnt that happening with any other cases ?

  • Ashokan on April 16, 2014, 12:34 GMT


    Not only must the GUILTY be punished, they must receive exemplary punishment.

    People should learn to understand what CONFLICT OF INTEREST means!

    A.Ashokan, Kollam Kerala

  • John on April 16, 2014, 12:34 GMT

    Surely the ICC must react to the Supreme Court 's concerns. What sort of image will cricket have if it is lead by someone who has such a questionable image? Given his conflict of interest where will his loyalties lay between 20:20 and Test cricket - obviously the former to the long term detriment of the game. Time for some leadership and courage at the ICC. We live in hope!

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