In what will be good news for supporters of N. Srinivasan, the Supreme Court on Monday refused to advance the dates of the Board of Control for Cricket in India's Annual General meeting. The court decision came after hearing a petition filed by Cricket Association of Bihar saying the BCCI flouted its constitution by deferring the AGM by almost two months.
The Bihar association is fighting a legal battle with BCCI and its president N. Srinivasan over corruption in Indian Premier League 2013. Srinivasan, who is now ICC's first chairman, is eyeing another term as BCCI president. If all goes as per the script, Srinivasan will be nominated by East Zone and should win comfortably. ( Recap: Don't mix my business with cricket, says Srinivasan)
After a working committee meeting in Chennai on September 26, the BCCI decided to hold the AGM on November 20. According to the BCCI constitution Rule No. 16, "the Annual General Meeting of the Board shall be held every year,Â but not later than 30th September at such place and time the president may fix." This is the second time in the history of the BCCI that the AGM has been deferred.
Nalini Chidambaram appeared for Bihar association and argued that as per Supreme Court orders, Srinivasan can't contest BCCI elections and to facilitate his return, the AGM has been postponed. Chidambaram also argued that the continuance of existing working committee members was illegal.
Kapil Sibal, who represented Srinivasan, told the court that AGM is held every year and as per rule, the existing members continue till next the AGM is held.
Senior advocate Ariyama Sundaram argued for BCCI and questioned the CAB's locus standi. He argued that the Bihar body was not even a member of the BCCI and thus should not be bothered about the AGM.
The judges said, "Let us wait for the probe committee report. We are bothered about the allegations of spot-fixing and betting not about AGM. If the probe committee exonerates Srinivasan he can contest but if elections are held now he will be disqualified. Your (CAB) real purpose of filing this petition is to prevent Srinivasan from contesting. Let us wait for the probe report."
Retired judge Justice Mukul Mudgal is heading a court-approved committee that is probing the IPL 2013 scandal. Srinivasan is among 13 persons being investigated. The Supreme Court judges said on Monday that the BCCI AGM case will be taken up on November 10 along with the Mudgal committee report.Â Â
If Srinivasan is cleared, he is expected to contest for another term as BCCI president. Sources say he has already secured the votes of East Zone units whose turn it is to elect a new chief. In September 2013, he won a year's extension after South Zone units unanimously voted for the Tamil Nadu businessman.
(With inputs from NDTV's Legal Reporter A. Vaidyanathan)