BCCI to move Supreme Court, Srinivasan asked to lie low

New Delhi, Aug 2 (IANS) Indian cricket board president Narayanaswami Srinivasan Friday was forced to abandon his plan to chair the working committee meeting following the BCCI decision to challenge the Bombay High Court's order in Supreme Court.

More than the Bombay High Court's adverse ruling Monday, what was more damaging for Srinivasan was that some of his known friends bluntly asked him to keep off the board till he is cleared, both morally and judicially.

It all started with Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) senior vice president Arun Jaitley explaining to Srinivasan at a lengthy meeting the legal implications if he tries to brazen out the Bombay High Court observations, which are in the nature of strictures, and by inference asking him to lie low till a legal remedy is found.

Even before the Indian Premier League (IPL) Governing Council meeting started, Srinivasan had a lengthy meeting with both Jaitley and IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla.

As a first step, he appeared before the Governing Council to "recuse" himself from attending it. But it is learnt that even the IPL chairman along with at least five others gathered enough courage to tell him not to disregard the adverse court observation.

The scheduled working committee meeting, which Srinivasan had planned to chair, had to be postponed on technical grounds as the agenda was not set and the notice didn't mentioned it as an emergency working committee. According to the BCCI constitution, the committee cannot meet twice in a week.

During the Governing Council meeting it was decided that the BCCI will file a Special Leave Petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court challenging the Bombay High Court's order.

Srinivasan and interim BCCI chief Jagmohan Dalmiya were called by the IPL Governing Council after the meeting and were informed about the decision to file an SLP in the Supreme Court.

"Mr. Jaitley read out the Bombay High Court's order during the IPL Governing Council meeting and it was decided that we will file an SLP in the Supreme Court," said BCCI's chief administrative officer Ratnakar Shetty.

The High Court had termed the two-member IPL probe panel as illegal. The panel had given a clean chit to the Srinivasan's son-in-law and Chennai Super Kings principal Gurunath Meiyappan and Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra's alleged betting and spot fixing activities.

Sources told IANS that some senior members of the board, including two vice-presidents Chitrak Mitra and Niranjan Shah, wanted another independent panel to be set up, but the proposal was shelved once it was realised that it would mean a wait of at least two to three months before Srinivasan could return to the board.

Instead, Srinivasan's legal advisers felt it was prudent to approach Supreme Court with a Special Leave Petition (SLP) challenging the Bombay High Court's ruling.

Mitra was the first one to come out and say that board will be challenging the Bombay High Court's order.

"The BCCI will be challenging the Bombay High Court's order. And the working committee meeting was postponed on technical grounds. There was no agenda set before the meeting and it was not mentioned as the emergency working committee meeting," said Mitra.

Shetty said the working committee will next meet after the court case is over.

"The next working committee will be after the court case is over. Till then, Mr. Dalmiya will carry on as the interim president," said Shetty.

Former secretary Sanjay Jagdale and treasurer Ajay Shirke will be replaced by their successors Sanjay Patel and Ravi Sawant in the BCCI ethics committee.

If the Supreme Court gives him relief, Srinivasan would be back within a week to consolidate his position in the board before the September Annual General Meeting, failing which it would be difficult for him to stage a comeback with Dalmiya presiding over the AGM.

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