The Board of Control for Cricket in India working committee meeting scheduled in New Delhi on Friday has been called off on 'technical' grounds. This meeting was to follow the Indian Premier League governing council meeting that was deliberating on a Bombay High Court order slamming the functioning of the Board.
Sources said, BCCI officials felt it would be "contempt of court" if Srinivasan had chaired the working committee. A section of the BCCI was against the Board flouting a court order just to reinstate Srinivasan as the boss. The BCCI will now appeal to Supreme Court and Jagmohan Dalmiya will continue to remain as caretaker president. (BCCI's full statement)
Earlier this week, a Bombay High Court order sent the BCCI in a spin. Acting on a Public Interest Litigation questioning the validity of the independent two-member Indian Premier League probe commission investigating the alleged spot-fixing and betting scandals, the High Court on Tuesday struck down BCCI's panel as "illegal and unconstitutional." (Also watch: Ratnakar Shetty speaks to members of the press)
A Bombay High Court division bench of Justices SJ Vazifdar and MS Sonak said: "We find that the manner in which BCCI has constituted a panel under its own rules is illegal and unconstitutional." The court said rule 2.2 of the BCCI Operational Rules mandated presence of at least one member of the IPL Code of Behaviour Committee on the Commission. "Admittedly, the two learned Judges are not members on the IPL Code of Behaviour Committee," they pointed out.
The BCCI probe panel comprising former judges T Jayaram Chouta and R Balasubramanian, had given a clean chit to Srinivasan's son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan and Rajasthan Royals co-promoter Raj Kundra in the IPL spot-fixing scandal, paving the way for Srinivasan's return to the board. A reluctant Srinivasan had stepped aside as Board chief on June 2 till the panel submitted its report.
However, the High Court order stood in the way of Srinivasan formally returning as BCCI president. Although reports said the Tamil Nadu strongman had assumed charges putting caretaker boss Jagmohan Dalmiya in the background, the court order deeply embarrassed a section of the BCCI.
On Thursday, two senior BCCI functionaries, Ajay Shirke and Niranjan Shah, openly demanded the setting up of another probe panel, something that implies Srinivasan was yet to get a clean chit yet and should not, therefore, be brought back as BCCI chief.
The failure to adopt a proper procedure to form the probe panel and the haste to table it are two issues that have angered a section of the BCCI. Why did the Board bigwigs rush to table the probe panel's report at the July 28 meeting in Kolkata when the matter was sub-judice? Why Arun Jaitley, a legal luminary and a BCCI vice-president, didn't spot the flaws in the panel report?
Late on Thursday, a compromise formula was being worked out with Jaitley given the job to interpret the probe panel report and suggest remedies. The option to appeal to the Supreme Court seemed to be the best solution.