Srinivasan should resign as BCCI chief, rules SC

Tags: News
Spelling fresh trouble for BCCI president N Srinivasan, the Supreme Court on Tuesday asked him to step down from the post in order to facilitate a fair probe into the IPL spot-fixing scandal in which his son-in-law Gurunath Meiy­appan has been indicted by an apex court-appointed inquiry panel.

Coming down heavily on Srinivasan, the apex court said cricket cannot be cleaned unless he steps down as chief of the country’s cricket board as the allegations in the probe report are “very very serious”.

“In our opinion, Srinivasan has to step down if a proper probe is to be done in the case. It’s nauseating that he is still sticking to the chair. He has to go if cricket has to be cleaned,” said a bench headed by Justice A K Patnaik.

The bench said if Srinivasan failed to step down, it would pass orders in this regard. The matter will now be taken up on Thursday.

In Chennai, BCCI members are expected to meet on Wednesday to consider the implications of the stinging observations made by the Supreme Court. Some BCCI members, who were in Dubai for ICC and ACC meetings till Tuesday, are expected to rush to Chennai for deliberations.

Apart from a “No comment,” there was no word from the BCCI president. The writing is on the wall and he would have to present his resignation as BCCI president to the top court as there seems to be little scope for defiance as the court has threatened to pass an order if Srinivasan does not relent. Late on Tuesday, his legal team was busy assessing the defences left, including an appeal if and when an order is passed.

The bench made the observations after perusing contents of an over 100-page report filed in a sealed cover by a three-member committee, headed by former Punjab and Haryana

high court chief justice Justice Mukul Mudgal. The top court had formed the panel earlier to probe the allegations of spot fixing during the IPL.

The court said the contents of the report, which also raised suspicion on the role of six India-capped players in the IPL betting and spot-fixing scandal, could not be revealed in open court and asked the BCCI counsel to go through certain paragraphs of it. “See and go through the report to get to know the seriousness of the allegations, but as a counsel not as a paid advocate of Srinivasan or the BCCI,” the bench said.

It said the gist of the report was such that the allegations have to be probed. During the hearing, BCCI pleaded before the court not to disclose the contents and names of players mentioned in the report.

Voices are rising within BCCI to find a replacement for Srinivasan instead of having a dummy as interim president. Shivlal Yadav, who is on a temple visit to Maharashtra, spoke to Srinivasan on Tuesday and has been asked to stand by, perhaps to be named interim president. He will probably play the role that Dalmiya did to protect Srinivasan’s interests.

The Justice Mudgal panel had said though Meiyappan’s role as a team official of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and his involvement in betting during IPL matches stood proved, the allegations of fixing against him require further investigation.

The panel also left it to the Supreme Court the issue of conflict of interest against Srinivasan, who heads India Cements that owns CSK. The report went into various issues like suspected involvement of six India-capped players in match fixing, betting allegations against the owners of Rajasthan Royals and instances of indiscipline by some players.

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