A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court has delivered a split verdict on a petition challenging BCCI secretary N Srinivasan's right to hold a position in the board while also holding a stake in an IPL franchise. The petition, filed by former board president AC Muthiah, questioned the motives behind the board amending their regulations in order to allow Srinivasan to have a dual role of board member and part-owner of Chennai Super Kings.
Justice JM Panchal dismissed the petition, while Justice Gyan Sudha Mishra allowed it, holding that a BCCI officer bearer cannot have a stake in an IPL franchise. The split verdict means the petition has been referred to the chief justice for allocating it to a larger bench.
The BCCI had amended clause 6.2.4 of the regulations for players, team officials, umpires and administrators in September 2008, shortly after the first season of the IPL. Before the amendment the clause read: "No administrator shall have, directly or indirectly, any commercial interest in the matches and events conducted by the board." After the change, it read: "No administrator shall have directly or indirectly any commercial interest in any of the events of the BCCI, excluding IPL, Champions League and Twenty20."
Muthiah's argument was that the exclusion of IPL and Twenty20 events was made specifically to benefit Srinivasan. In September 2010, Mishra had suggested Srinivasan resign from his position in the board .
"You introduce an amendment where the IPL will be an exception. You are a prominent industrialist holding a key position in the board and have a stake in the bidding," Mishra had told Srinivasan. "In order to avoid suspicion and be above board, you should have got your membership suspended.
"Our nagging question is: can you continue in a dual capacity? That is the core issue."
Following those statements, Mishra allowed Muthiah's petition on April 28, 2011, but Panchal's decision to dismiss it means the amendment to the BCCI regulations will stand for the time being.