Supreme Court rejects BCCI conflict-of-interest plea
The Supreme Court of India has dismissed BCCI's plea seeking review of an earlier verdict that struck down the controversial amendment to the conflict-of-interest clause. The BCCI had filed a review petition soon after the verdict, but the apex court dismissed it, reckoning there was no merit to the case.
A legal expert told ESPNcricinfo that review petitions were "rarely entertained." "Ordinarily, these reviews are heard in the chambers," he said. "If there is an error apparent in the face of the judgment, then they will review it.
"It's an extraordinary power and is not meant to be used lightly. If they have made a glaring error, then they will review it and correct it, otherwise they won't exercise powers."
In January, the Supreme Court, in a landmark judgment pertaining to the 2013 IPL corruption case, struck down the amendment to the BCCI constitution's clause 6.2.4 that allowed board officials to have a commercial interest in the IPL and the Champions League T20, calling it "the true villain of the situation at hand." The amendment to the clause was effected in September 2008, six months after the Chennai franchise was sold to India Cements, a company owned by then BCCI secretary N Srinivasan.
The judgment had far-reaching consequences with the court ruling that while the BCCI was a private body, it performed a public function and was therefore amenable to judicial law and review. It was the first instance of an external agency amending the BCCI's constitution. The rule was deemed by the Court to be "void and ineffective", "unsustainable and impermissible in law" as it was said to have "authorised" the "creation and continuance" of a conflict-of-interest situation. The two-man bench of Justice TS Thakur and Justice FMI Kalifullah said the amendment had perpetuated the conflict.
In an ostensible bid to act on the Supreme Court's ruling, the BCCI's current dispensation had in July asked representatives of state associations and members of the Board to sign a declaration stating they had no conflict of interest. The decision, however, met with resistance from some of the members associations, and the issue was slated to be raised at the working committee meeting on August 28, which was subsequently adjourned owing to Srinivasan's presence.
Arun Venugopal is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo