N. Srinivasan Faces Moment of Truth as Supreme Court Set to Reveal Probe Report on IPL Scam
N. Srinivasan, seeking an extra term as BCCI president, is one of the 13 names that was investigated for corruption in the Indian Premier League by the Supreme Court-appointed probe panel headed by retired judge Mukul Mudgal.
N. Srinivasan looked extremely composed and sure of himself at the annual M.A.K. Pataudi lecture in Kolkata on Wednesday evening. The 69-year-old Tamil Nadu business tycoon grabbed the spotlight as much as chief speaker VVS Laxman. Even though his future in Indian cricket administration is in the hands of the Supreme Court, Srinivasan seems absolutely unruffled. (IPL Scam: Top 10 Developments)
Asked how he was able to maintain composure, despite everything that had happened after the IPL betting and spot-fixing scandal broke in May 2013, Srinivasan told The Telegraph: "Because of the God-given inner strength." (Read Full Story Here)
That "inner strength" and "self-belief" will be tested when the Supreme Court on Friday examines the 35-page report submitted by Justice Mukul Mudgal probe panel and determines the next course of action. ICC chairman Srinivasan is among 13 names investigated for corruption in IPL. His son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, team principal of Chennai Super Kings ever since IPL was born in 2008, has been indicted for betting.
The "high-voltage" case was heard earlier this week (November 10). The special Bench comprising Justice TS Thakur and Justice Ibrahim Kalifullah heard the petitioner (Cricket Association of Bihar) and the defendants (BCCI). More than betting and fixing in cricket, the future of Srinivasan, who is seeking another term as Board president, has held centrestage in this long-drawn case.
On Srinivasan contesting BCCI elections the court said: "If there is no finding against Srinivasan then there is no problem, but if there is a finding against someone close to him (Gurunath Meiyappan) does it not shake the confidence of people or your (BCCI) position?"
The focus is on the 13 names mentioned in the sealed report. It is not sure if the court will reveal the full report or just parts of it. When the first set of reports were submitted by the Mudal panel in February, the judges selectively mentioned Srinivasan's name and subsequently stood him down as BCCI president. Former Test players Shivlal Yadav and Sunil Gavaskar were appointed as interim presidents.
On November 10, Srinivasan's counsel Kapil Sibal argued making the report public did not serve any purpose as it was merely an "adjudication" and "not the gospel". Revelation of names could hurt sentiments as well since top national players have been questioned for their alleged links with bookies.
Harish Salve, the lawyer for Bihar, said it should be left to the court to decide what parts needed to be made public. Sibal said, "I (Srinivasan) will take the report as it is and will not question its findings."
On Tuesday, the Bombay High Court rejected a Public Interest Litigation challenging a modified clause in the BCCI constitution that allowed Srinivasan to own a team in the IPL and also be president of the Board.
A division Bench of the Bombay High Court, headed by Justice Anoop Mohota, decided against interfering with the BCCI general body's decision, in carrying out the amendments in its rules. The court felt the plea filed by Bihar was based on presumptions and assumptions and hence would not be considered in a PIL. The Bench stated the petitioner, by virtue of being a third party, was not part of the BCCI.
But the Bombay High Court decision will have no bearing on the Supreme Court hearing. The top court is focused on corruption in IPL and the characters who are alleged to have participated in unscrupulous events. If Meiyappan is found guilty, it could trigger a chain reaction. Both Srinivasan and his IPL team Chennai Super Kings may feel the aftershocks.