The Supreme Court on Monday blasted Board of Control for Cricket in India president-in-exile N Srinivasan for conflict of interest, asking how somebody within the sports body is also holding a franchise in the Indian Premier League or IPL.
“You are a person who is managing the show. You are also having a team in IPL. Your are the owner of a team (Chennai Super Kings) in IPL. Would it not be a conflict of interest,” asked an apex court bench headed by Justice T.S. Thakur.
“People are passionate about the game. The BCCI is killing it,” the apex court noted in what is perhaps the harshest reprimand in the ongoing row over the BCCI’s defiant stand on Srinivasan, who is also the owner of the Chennai Super Kings franchise. “You can’t make a distinction between BCCI and IPL. IPL a is a by-product of BCCI,” the Supreme Court noted.
The apex court added, “You will have to address question of conflict of interest as head of BCCI and also as owner of IPL team, whose official is found to be involved.”
Srinivasan had on Friday requested the Supreme Court that he may be restored to his position as BCCI chief and be allowed to function. He argued that the Mudgal committee, that probed allegations of match fixing and betting in the 2013 edition of IPL, has cleared him of all charges levelled against him.
The Supreme Court also came down heavily on the BCCI, accusing the body killing the game, which is considered a religion in the country. “Who forms the governing council of the IPL? And when BCCI takes any decision, why does the president remain a mute spectator?,” the Supreme Court asked.
Srinivasan was asked by the Supreme Court to step aside from his position till the Mudgal panel completed their probe into the spot-fixing and betting scandal during IPL’s sixth edition. His son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, who claimed he worked as a team principal for the Chennai Super Kings, is accused of betting on the IPL games. The Chennai Super Kings, led by India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, are two-time IPL champions.
International Cricket Council chairman Srinivasan, who is seeking re-election as BCCI president, needs an approval of the Supreme Court to contest. A meeting of the governing council of the BCCI is scheduled on December 17.
The Mudgal Committee, which submitted its report on November 17, had indicted Meiyappan and Rajasthan Royals franchise co-owner Raj Kundra of betting and confirmed their role in their teams but cleared Srinivasan of match fixing and scuttling the probe.