The under-fire N Srinivasan's defiant bid to get an extended term as BCCI President hit a massive roadblock today with the Supreme Court asking him not to take charge even if he is elected in the Annual General Meeting on Sunday where the Cricket Board itself would be hard-pressed for options.
Hearing a plea by the Cricket Association of Bihar, which sought to stop Srinivasan from contesting, the Supreme Court today allowed the Tamil Nadu strongman to fight it out but told him not to take charge even if he is elected till further orders.
"In case Srinivasan is elected as President, he will not take charge until further orders," a bench comprising Justices A K Patnaik and J S Kehar said.
The bench took strong exception to Srinivasan still holding charge of BCCI when his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan has been charge sheeted in connection with the IPL spot- fixing case
It is another setback for Srinivasan who already has his back against the wall after being forced to step aside when his son-in-law and Chennai Super Kings Team Principal Gurunath Meiyappan's name cropped up in the IPL betting scandal.
Srinivasan's company India Cements owns CSK, a two-time IPL champion side.
Despite not having anything against his name, Srinivasan has been under tremendous pressure to resign on moral grounds but has remained defiant, challenging every dissenting voice within and outside the BCCI.
In fact, Srinivasan's election for an added one-year term as BCCI President was a real possibility this Sunday given that he had the backing of all the six units of south zone, whose turn it is to nominate a candidate for the top job.
Given the technicalities arising out of today's order, the Board can hardly afford to have a President who cannot take charge immediately as interim chief Jagmohan Dalmiya does not have the signing authority.
Dalmiya has been running the Board's day-to-day affairs but Srinivasan has remained the signing authority despite stepping aside.
As per the court order, Srinivasan cannot discharge the Board President's duties even if he is re-elected on Sunday which means the Board will not have any functional head.
The situation thus becomes quite peculiar opening up some new options for the BCCI, which might include giving signing authority to Dalmiya as interim chief if Srinivasan remains the preferred choice of South Zone.
The other solution could be South Zone deciding to present a fresh candidate for the top post, which might mark the end of Srinivasan era in the Board.
"The Supreme Court observations has put the BCCI in a tight spot. Even if Srinivasan is elected, he cannot function. Dalmiya has no signing powers. Some solution has to be found before the AGM", a top Board official said.
The 68-year-old Srinivasan is through with the regular two-year term and is eyeing an extended one-year tenure.
The astute businessman has been going through a rough time ever since the IPL spot-fixing scandal broke out.
Meiyappan, whom Srinivasan described as merely a cricket enthusiast, was recently charge-sheeted by the Mumbai Crime Branch adding to the pressure on the BCCI chief.
But Srinivasan has remained steadfast, insisting that he has got nothing to do with Meiyappan and that law will take its own course in the matter.