Supreme Court allows BCCI to postpone AGM

Srini gives undertaking he will stay away from IPL if re-elected

Supreme Court allows BCCI to postpone AGM

The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed the BCCI to postpone till January 31, 2015 its annual general meeting for electing new office-bearers in view of continuance of hearing on the Mudgal panel report.

Board president-in-exile N Srinivasan undertook to stay away from the IPL affairs in case of his re-election to the post.

A bench of Justices T S Thakur and F M I Kalifullah asked the BCCI to adjourn its annual general meeting slated to be held on December 17.

“We are still in the processs of hearing. It will take some time to conclude so directions are issued that the annual general meeting to elect office-bearers of the BCCI shall stand postponed by January 31,” the bench said.

The court’s order came after BCCI’s counsel C A Sundaram pointed out a technical hindrance in continuance of the incumbent office-bearers in the board even after the expiry of their term in September and sought directions from the bench.

The court put the matter for further consideration on Monday. Earlier, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing Srinivasan, submitted that he would dissassociate himself from the IPL affairs till a proposed high-powered committee by the court decided the quantum of punishment against those found guilty by the Justice Mukul Mudgal panel and determined charges of conflict of interest.

Sundaram, however, objected to the formation of the high-powered panel to look into the issue saying that if at all any committee was to be appointed, it has to be done under the governing body rules of the BCCI. Otherwise, the board’s autonomy would be gone.

The bench, however, did not appreciate the opposition by the BCCI’s counsel. “You can understand, the entire game of cricket and its edifice would collapse if such kind of arrangement is allowed to continue and if people’s confidence is not restored. If you (BCCI) fail in your duty, can’t we get it corrected? If there is some temptation for thief to enter, why can’t you stop it? Why are you averse to it,” the bench asked him.
“The root cause of the problem could be absence of punitive measures...if recommendations are made to correct rules, your general body can look into it,” the bench said.

Senior advocate Mahesh Jethmalani, appearing for India Cements Ltd, owner of IPL franchisee Chennai Super Kings, submitted that the team should not be held responsible for betting by its one of the officials Gurunath Meiyappan.

“I concede he (Meiyappan) is a team official and guilty of betting. He did it once and lost large sum of money. He did it not from the match venue but from home,” he said.
The court, however, asked him, “If the ICL open to any punishment due to your admission. Can your franchise be not cancelled or your MD (Srinivasan) be not held guilty?”

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