The Supreme Court on Tuesday 'attacked' Board of Control for Cricket in India president N. Srinivasan for sticking to his chair at a time when the Indian Premier League was reeling under charges of corruption. Srinivasan's son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, a Chennai Super Kings team official, is in the centre of the scam for betting and sharing team information. (Read: Top-10 developments in case)
The BCCI lawyers are fighting the case tooth and nail and wants the Supreme Court to allow the Board to set up its own probe commission and hand out punishments to the guilty. The apex court, which is hearing reports submitted by the Justice Mukul Mudgal committee that investigated for four months allegations of betting and match-fixing in IPL 2013, is in no mood to let BCCI handle the IPL scam on its own. The Board's past record has been rather dubious.
Srinivasan won a year's extension as BCCI chief in the AGM in Chennai in September last year. The Tamil Nadu strong man had "stepped aside" for some time last year till a BCCI-appointed probe committee controversially exonerated Gurunath and Rajasthan Royals' co-owner Raj Kundra of corruption charges. Srinivasan's power as a cricket administrator has grown in recent weeks. Come July, he is going to be the first chairman of a revamped International Cricket Council.
All hell broke loose in June last year when the Cricket Association of Bihar filed a PIL in the Bombay High Court against Srinivasan for "conflict of interest" since the BCCI boss was also the owner of two-time IPL champions Chennai Super Kings and Meiyappan was his family member. After the Bombay High Court said the BCCI probe committee's finding was "illegal", the matter reached the Supreme Court.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court came down heavily on Srinivasan, even asking him to step down to ensure that the IPL scam probe was fair. This was the first time that the apex court was so hard-hitting with its observations. Some of them are listed below:
# Why Srinivasan is not stepping down? It is so nauseating? Why is he sticking to the president's post: Supreme Court.
# We will not like to damage the president but we find that if Srinivasan does not step down no fair investigation can take place: Supreme Court.
# If you (Srinivasan) don't step down, then we will pass an order: Supreme Court.
# There are no definite findings by the Mudgal committee but the allegations are of a very serious nature. Whether the BCCI will act on the findings of the probe panel is a big, big question: Supreme Court.
# "We will show the papers. You see them and tell us as a counsel about your opinion and not as a paid counsel for Srinivasan: Supreme Court judge to senior BCCI counsel C.A. Sundaram.