India news September 4, 2014

Fate of BCCI AGM likely to be known on Sunday

A decision over whether to convene or delay the BCCI's annual general meeting (AGM) is likely to be taken at an informal meeting of BCCI members in Chennai on Sunday. Around 20 of the 30 members are expected to attend as a show of support for the sidelined BCCI president N Srinivasan.

According to one official, "technically" the AGM already stood postponed. "There is a technical glitch as per the BCCI memorandum. The president has to sign the balance sheet. The president has to ask to postpone the AGM. But there is no president," the BCCI official said.

Doubts over the AGM, usually held in the last week of September, emerged immediately after a two-judge bench of the Supreme Court rejected Srinivasan's appeal to be reinstated as BCCI president, which would have allowed him to chair the AGM and likely stand for a third term as BCCI president.

The Court approved a two-month extension to the Mudgal Committee's probe into corruption during last year's IPL and said Srinivasan could not be reinstated in keeping with an order from the court which had said that he could resume office only at the end of the IPL investigation.

ESPNcricinfo understands that around 20 associations, those said to be on Srinivasan's side, are expected to attend the Chennai meeting. It is understood that the units from south and east zone will attend the meeting, as well as the BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel.

The staging of the meeting is being kept a secret. Several state association members who are not Srinivasan supporters, including one of the BCCI vice-presidents, said they were not even aware of such a meeting, let alone being invited.

According to a BCCI office-bearer, the Chennai meeting was not a formal board meeting, but the gathering of "a group" of people to discuss issues pertaining to the AGM. There is growing uncertainty amid member units over whether the AGM and elections could be held before September 30, the last day of BCCI's financial calendar.

The court's order to not allow Srinivasan to resume his duties has resulted in a technical conundrum over BCCI's AGM. According to the BCCI constitution, the AGM has to be convened with a 21-day notice before September 30 which means the last date to convene the AGM should be September 8.

As per the norm, the BCCI calls for a working committee meeting to finalise the date for the AGM in addition to ratifying the annual report and the accounts, which can only be done by the president. With Srinivasan barred from the post, Shivlal Yadav has taken over as the interim president.

There is no clarity over whether Yadav is eligible to ratify the annual report. While a section of BCCI members believe Yadav can sign the report, some members feel in the presence of an elected president, Yadav's signature may create a legal loophole that can be exploited by an aggrieved member later on. There is a possibility that the ruling faction within the BCCI may well prefer to postpone the AGM citing incomplete annual accounts.

The annual report is also far from being ready, according to another high-ranking BCCI official. The annual accounts have to be finalised by the finance committee and forwarded to the working committee for its approval. However, the BCCI's working committee hasn't been convened since April 20, four days after the Court confirmed that Srinivasan couldn't return to the BCCI till the end of the IPL investigation.

Multiple former office-bearers confirmed that a working committee meeting can still be held during the three-week window between circulation of the AGM notice and the AGM. And this might be feasible for the Srinivasan camp, considering opposition, if any, has so far been muted.

Some of Srinivasan's key opponents, including Lalit Modi (Rajasthan Cricket Association), Jyotiraditya Scindia (Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association), Niranjan Shah (Saurashtra Cricket Association), Ajay Shirke (Maharashtra Cricket Association) and even Sharad Pawar (Mumbai Cricket Association) have remained silent. One of the opposition members said "the status quo" would continue when asked if there was any plan to stall Srinivasan and his supporters from trying to postpone the AGM.

Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo; Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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