SC tells Srinivasan to maintain distance from BCCI working committee

SC tells Srinivasan to maintain distance from BCCI working committee

In another difficult day for the side-stepped BCCI president N. Srinivasan, the Supreme Court Monday questioned his intention, asking why he was adopting a detour to attend the cricketing body's working committee meeting after stating his desire to keep himself out of the decision-making process for the sake of transparency.

"On one hand, you say that I want to be out of decision-making process, you set aside and enter through Tamil Nadu Cricket Association route in the decision-making process (the working committee)," said the apex court bench of Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla.

Taking a dig at Srinivasan for using different hats before the court in his reluctance to discharge the functions as BCCI president, the court said: "As recent as three weeks back you were participating in the BCCI meeting. You should have followed in spirit (your offer to the court). We can understand your passion for the game but you should keep yourself aside."

Pointing out that Srinivasan was to act in the spirit of the decision to stay away from the functioning of the BCCI, the court, which was told that he was placed in the situation of conflict or nepotism, said: "You stepped aside and started attending the working committee meeting as TNCA president. The whole idea was that you should distance yourself from the working of BCCI."

"In retrospect it may be correct. I take the point. I think the spirit should have been followed," said senior counsel Kapil Sibal who argued for Srinivasan.

The court's observations came in the course of the hearing of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by the Cricket Association of Bihar. The PIL seeks to keep Srinivasan out of BCCI on the grounds of conflict of interest and also the cancellation of Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Chennai Super Kings on the allegation of betting by Srinivasan's son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan.

The apex court appointed senior BCCI vice-president Shiv Lal Yadav March 28 to take over as the functioning BCCI president and asked cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar to look after the affairs of the then ongoing IPL tournament.

Srinivasan, in a written statement to the court, said then that he would stay away from the working of cricketing body till allegations against him were investigated.
"Mr. N. Srinivasan, the President of the BCCI, has made a written offer through his counsel that till investigation into the allegations against him is completed, he will not discharge any of the functions of the President of the BCCI", the court had recorded in its March 28 order.

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