The Supreme Court of India has ruled that N Srinivasan can resume his duties as BCCI president, so long as he doesn't deal with any matters relating to the IPL. It also ruled that the new three-member panel that will conduct an independent investigation into the allegations of corruption in the IPL will comprise, as it had suggested on Monday, former High Court judge Mukul Mudgal, senior advocate and additional solicitor general L Nageshwar Rao and Assam Cricket Association member Nilay Dutta.
The probe, the court said, should be concluded in four months' time. It said the probe committee has been set up to "function independent of the BCCI and the president" and that the BCCI will pay "the expenses of travel, boarding and lodging" of the committee.
"The BCCI or respondent No.2 (Srinivasan) will not in any manner interfere in the probe and co-operate with providing any documents and material required to the probe," the order read.
Srinivasan welcomed the court's ruling. "I think the Supreme Court has said I can resume functioning and discharge my functions. So I am quite happy because BCCI needs somebody," he said. "I have no comment on the new committee, Supreme Court has directly formed it. I am not a part of it. I have nothing to do with it."
On the issue of allowing Srinivasan to return as president, Justice AK Patnaik said the court was concerned solely with the legality of the probe panel, and not with the BCCI's day-to-day administration. "We don't want to be accused to have committed judicial over-reach," Patnaik said. "This dispute relates to the probe and the more detached we are in this matter, the better it will be for the functioning of the probe."
On Monday, the court had ruled that a new three-member probe panel be constituted to look into IPL 2013, and suggested the three names it eventually appointed. It had given the CAB and the BCCI until Tuesday to finalise their views on the proposed names. The court said the panel would conduct an independent inquiry into the allegations and submit its report to the Supreme Court.
The court also heard a plea from the BCCI to allow Srinivasan to resume functioning as president because, it said, his absence was affecting cricket administration.
Srinivasan had been allowed to contest the BCCI elections on September 29 by the Supreme Court, but with a rider which said that if he won, he could not take charge as president as long as it was hearing the case related to him and the board.
The matter dates back to a plea that the CAB filed in June, raising charges of conflict of interest in the formation of the two-member panel set up to inquire into allegations of corruption in the IPL. 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.