Split verdict on BCCI secy owning IPL franchise

Split verdict on BCCI secy owning IPL franchise

Muthiah had challenged an amendment in the BCCI regulation to exclude IPL and T-20 tournaments from its purview which, he alleged,  had been done to favour the cricket board's secretary N Srinivasan who owns the T-20 franchise, Chennai Super Kings.

A Bench of Justices J M Panchal and Gyan Sudha Mishra sent the matter to the Chief Justice of India for necessary action. The issue would now be decided by a larger bench.  “Since there is difference of opinion, let the papers of these matters be placed before the Hon'ble  Chief Justice of India for being assigned to appropriate Bench,” the Bench said.

In his petition, Muthiah had sought suspension of the amendment to Clause 6.2.4 in the BCCI’s regulations allowing an administrator to have direct or indirect commercial interest in the matches or events like Indian Premier League or Champions League Twenty 20.
  “The contention relating to conflict of interest is thoroughly misconceived and proceeds on certain presumptions which have no factual basis.

It is nobody’s case that the team was purchased by the respondent (Srinivasan) for a smug and that he had prevented others who wanted to offer more price for purchase of the team and thereby caused financial loss to the BCCI. Thus, the plea of conflict of interest is substanceless and is hereby rejected,” Justice Panchal said.

In a separate verdict, Justice Mishra, however, held that the amendment brought in the rules on September 27, 2008 was “fit to be suspended”.

“In the instant matter, when the BCCI held auction for owning IPL Team and an Administrator – (Srinivasan) participated in the bid, variety of real and/or perceived conflict of interest cannot be ruled out. These included access to insider information, possible undue influence on the decision makers who held the auction and the like,” Justice Mishra said.

She said if Srinivasan  opted to own CSK, he would be restrained to be holding any office in the BCCI. Justice Panchal, however, held that Srinivasan himself could not influence the decision either in Indian Cement Ltd, the owner of CSK, where he held only 0.05 per cent shares or in the BCCI where a general body took a final call on any issue.

In his plea, Muthiah had contended that no administrator of BCCI could have had, any commercial interest in the matches or events conducted by the cricket board. Srinivasan had claimed that there was nothing wrong in the administrator donning the role of the secretary and owning an IPL team.

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