Allowing the BCCI to lead their battle, the Supreme Court Friday turned down a plea to direct Indian captain M S Dhoni and ousted BCCI chief N Srinivasan to individually move requests for access to audio transcripts of the contentious statements made by them before the IPL probe panel.
A bench of Justices A K Patnaik and J S Khehar shot down an objection by the Cricket Association of Bihar (CAB) that the BCCI could not have asked for the transcripts on behalf of them.
“BCCI has no locus standi (legal standing) to move this application. They want statements of Dhoni, Srinivisan and also Sunder Rajan by way of this application on their behalf. The affidavit attached with this application is of the BCCI secretary. Why? The application must be moved by them individually,” Senior advocate Ajeet Sinha, representing CAB, said.
The bench, however, refused to nix the BCCI plea on this ground and told the counsel that such a technical argument did not have to be entertained at this stage.
Meanwhile, a counsel, appearing for the the Mudgal probe panel, informed the bench that the audio recordings and transcripts of the impugned statements had not been placed before the bench and only minutes of the meetings were in the court.
At this, BCCI counsel CA Sundaram requested the bench to direct the panel to hand over the necessary tapes and transcripts to them so that they could argue the case effectively.
The bench, however, pointed out that the BCCI’s application requested the court to give them the audio transcripts, which were in fact not on record with them. It asked the BCCI counsel to amend their application properly and posted the matter for April 16, even as Sundaram said that it will be difficult to argue without the transcripts of the audio tapes.
The spotlight was turned on Dhoni after the panel, while holding Srinivasan’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan guilty of betting in IPL, had trashed the statements made before it by the beleaguered BCCI president and also by him that Meiyappan had nothing to do with the cricketing affairs of the Chennai Super Kings.