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News

BCCI Ethics Officer finds TNCA president Rupa Gurunath guilty of conflict of interest

Apart from being TNCA president, she's also a director of India Cements, the company with ties to Chennai Super Kings

Rupa Gurunath was elected unopposed as TNCA chief in September 2019  •  TNCA

Rupa Gurunath was elected unopposed as TNCA chief in September 2019  •  TNCA

The Tamil Nadu Cricket Association President, Rupa Gurunath, has been found guilty of conflict of interest by the BCCI ethics officer due to her potential ties to the IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings.
Gurunath, the daughter of former BCCI president N Srinivasan, became the first woman president of a state association in September 2019. She is also a director at India Cements Limited (ICL), which in the eyes of Justice Retd. DK Jain is too closely connected with Chennai Super Kings Cricket Ltd (CSKCL), the owners of that IPL franchise.
In a complaint to Jain, Sanjeev Gupta, a former life member of the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association, raised his concern about Gurunath's dual roles prompting the BCCI ethics officer to look into the case.
"All these facts go on to show that a circuitous web of entities including CSKCL has been created under the umbrella of ICL," Jain's report, as quoted by PTI, stated. "The management and governance of all such entities directly or indirectly, lies in the Board of ICL, notwithstanding the defence pleaded that ICL has no stake in CSKCL.
"In the given factual scenario, it can be safely inferred that the Respondent (Ms Gurunath), in her capacity as whole-time director and promoter of ICL, has close association with trustees of ICL Shareholders Trust and the Directors of CSKCL, which has franchise agreement with the BCCI."
As per Rule 38(1) (i) of the Ethics code, Rupa's is a case of "indirect" conflict of interest if not "direct" since it is CSKCL and not India Cements that has entered into a franchise agreement with the BCCI.
Direct or indirect interest comes into play when the BCCI, a member, the IPL or a franchise enter into contractual arrangements with entities in which the official(s) concerned or his/her relative, partner, or close associate has an interest that may be seen to compromise the work they do for the board.
Jain further stated: "Having arrived at the aforesaid conclusion, the BCCI shall take requisite steps in accordance with law, to ensure due compliance of Rule 38 (2) of the Rules in case of the respondent."
This rule, as per BCCI constitution, pertains to disclosure of all relevant information about the case. "The failure to issue a complete disclosure or any partial or total suppression thereof would render the individual open to disciplinary action which may include termination or removal without benefits.
"It is clarified that declaration doesn't lead to presumption that in fact a questionable situation exists, but is merely for information and transparency."
This order could be one of the last passed by Jain as his contract ends later this week on June 7 unless the BCCI decides to renew it.