HC ruling sends BCCI into a tizzy

HC ruling sends BCCI into a tizzy

Unfazed by the Bombay High Court order declaring BCCI’s two-member probe as “illegal”, a defiant N Srinivasan on Tuesday made it clear that he will attend the Working Committee here on August 2 which is expected to draw up the future course of action.

Hearing a Public Interest Litigation filed by the Cricket Association of Bihar, a division bench of justices S J Vazifdar and MS Sonak declared the two-member BCCI probe panel “unconstitutional and illegal”, a development which has put a spanner on Srinivasan’s return to the BCCI top post.

The High Court order comes just two days after the BCCI panel submitted its report which cleared Srinivasan’s franchise Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals owner Raj Kundra of charges of betting. “We will wait for the judgement to come into our hands before deciding our next step,” BCCI’s interim chief Jagmohan Dalmiya said.

But Srinivasan took a more defiant stand and said he will attend the Working Committee meeting on August 2. “Yes, I will be attending the BCCI working Committee meeting in New Delhi on August 2,” said Srinivasan.

When specifically asked in which capacity he will be attending the meeting, Srinivasan gave a terse reply, “Come there and see for yourself as to what capacity I will be attending the meeting!” Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) is a permanent member of the BCCI Working Committee and Srinivasan might as well attend the meeting by virtue of being the president of the state association. Normally, Srinivasan’s confidant Kashi Viswanathan represents TNCA at such meetings.

Srinivasan also took an aggressive stance when asked about the ruling of the Bombay High Court on the probe panel which was formed to inquire into the IPL spot-fixing scandal. “I don’t know why you people are making a big issue. A writ was filed and the court has given its verdict. The matter finishes there. I have no further comments to make on this issue,” he said.

The petition in the Bombay High Court alleged blatant bias by Srinivasan, who is the vice-Chairman and Managing Director of India Cements Ltd, which owns Chennai Super Kings.The PIL urged the court to direct BCCI to recall its order constituting the probe panel and instead the court shall form a panel of retired judges as it may deem fit to hold inquiry against Srinivasan's son-in-law and CSK Team Principal Gurunath Meiyappan, Kundra and Rajasthan Royals in the scandal.

BCCI and Srinivasan, in their reply affidavits, termed the petition as "motivated and vested with personal interests."

According to a BCCI source, the Working Committee will take a decision on whether to immediately appeal against the verdict in the Supreme Court or wait till the police authorities complete their probe in the matter. Moments after the High Court order came out, the BCCI’s top officials started consultations on the implications of the development. Srinivasan, also had a meeting with his lawyers.

Dalmiya’s broadside

Interim chief Dalmiya admitted on Tuesday that Bombay High Court’s verdict, terming the two-member probe panel illegal and unconstitutional, has put them in an “embarrassing position.”

“I do not know how big is the crisis is but I can say that it has put us in an embarrassing position. I must have received at least 50 to 80 calls since morning. But I want to say that I am equally in dark.”

About the Bombay High Court order, Dalmiya said that he has not received the order.
“Nothing has been communicated to us in the last 24 hours. I have just read it in the media. My knowledge is as good as yours. I do not know where to go from here, we have to wait and see.”

Quizzed on the next course of action, he replied, “It is a million dollar question.”
He was equally non-committal when asked about who will chair the working committee meeting in Delhi on August 2.

“Who will chair the August 2 meeting? I myself do not know where is the chair... Let me first understand where do I stand... I do not have any information officially. This however does not mean there is some differences within the BCCI,” Dalmiya said.

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