Srinivasan allowed to contest,not leadhttps://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/web/srinivasan-allowed-to-contest-not-lead/

Srinivasan allowed to contest,not lead

Supreme Court prohibits BCCI president from taking charge even if re-elected at AGM.

Supreme Court prohibits BCCI president from taking charge even if re-elected at AGM.

The Supreme Court on Friday prohibited N Srinivasan,the BCCI president,from taking charge even if he succeeds in getting another term during the elections at the Annual General Meeting (AGM),scheduled for Sunday.

While letting the BCCI hold its AGM on September 29,the court said that the Board may choose to hold its election but if Srinivasan is re-elected,he could not assume the charge until the court so allowed.

“The proposed Annual General Meeting of the Board of Control for Cricket in India may be held on 29th September,2013 as scheduled and the election in the Annual General Meeting may also be held,but in case,respondent No.2 (Shri N. Srinivasan) is elected as the President,he will not take charge until further orders,” ordered a bench of Justices A K Patnaik and J S Khehar.

Lashing BCCI

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While passing the restraint order,the bench also came down heavily on the BCCI for letting Srinivasan continue at the helm of the affairs although his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan had been chargesheeted by the police in spot fixing scandal and he had been booked for various criminal offences.

As soon as counsel for the BCCI and Srinivasan declined that he was keeping himself out of the cricketing body’s affairs,the bench shot back: “Why and how is he continuing when his son-in-law is involved? Why are you (BCCI) so keen on holding your election when the Supreme Court of India is seized of the matter?”

The court added: “We don’t know anybody. We only know cricket. We only know BCCI. Why are you (Srinivasan) so keen to be re-elected? It is quite possible that the election is in the agenda of the proposed AGM so you may hold your election. But you don’t take charge until we say so.”

The bench asked Srinivasan’s counsel senior advocate RF Nariman as to how he could defend his position when his son-in-law was apparently involved and the police had now made him an accused.

Intriguingly,Nariman replied: “That is too long a jump. My son-in-law was not my decision but a decision of my daughter. So it is a very long jump.”

The bench,however,made it clear that previous decisions of the apex court had held that BCCI had trappings of a public body and since it discharged public functions,“events relating to cricket must be transparent,just and fair.”

Accusing former BCCI chief AC Muthiah of clandestinely “orchestrating” the present petition,Nariman sought to argue that the petition by the Cricket Association of Bihar (CAB) pertained only on a fresh probe into IPL scam and hence its prayer against Srinivasan’s election was beyond the scope of the pleadings.

Argument not worthy

The court turned down this argument saying: “Why are you presuming that we cannot mould the prayers for ensuring transparent and fair functioning of a public body? We can even pass a preventive order restraining him (Srinivasan) from contesting. The petition is all about cricket here.”

It has now fixed Monday to continue to hear the matter.

Earlier,arguing for CAB,senior advocate Harish Salve had pressed for a stay of the AGM,claiming the situation was “unprecedented” in view of the chargesheet accusing the son-in-law of the BCCI president. He also alleged that the BCCI rules were tweaked only to let Srinivasan have another term. Citing apex court judgements,he said BCCI was involved in public functions and has been allowed to use stadiums to promote cricket.

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CAB had filed this application to restrain Srinivasan from contesting for the post of BCCI President,besides injuncting from participating in any committee till the court decided the matter.