The Board of Control for Cricket in India's working committee meeting in New Delhi was called off on Friday after opposition over Narayanswamy Srinivasan's return as Board president. Jagmohan Dalmiya will continue functioning as BCCI interim chief.
Srinivasan attended the Indian Premier League governing council meeting to discuss Bombay High Court's ruling that a probe panel investigating the spot-fixing scandal in IPL was illegal. According to TV reports, Srinivasan's presence at the IPL meet angered other governing council members.
He was also adamant on chairing the working committee meet which led to the revolt. At least four board members, including two vice-presidents, had threatened to resign if Srinivasan chaired the meeting.
Punjab Cricket Association chief and Working Committee member IS Bindra opted to skip the meeting and the state body was represented by its secretary MP Pandove.
The BCCI decided to appeal in the Supreme Court against the Bombay High Court order, which had declared the Board's IPL spot-fixing probe as "illegal and unconstitutional".
"At its meeting in Delhi earlier today, the IPL Governing Council (Mr. N. Srinivasan having recused himself) considered at length, the issues arising from the Bombay High Court's order regarding the constitution of the probe commission, which was formed to investigate the complaints made by the BCCI against India Cements Limited, Jaipur IPL Cricket Private Limited, Mr. Gurunath Meiyappan and Mr Raj Kundra," BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel said in a statement.
"As a matter of principle, the members confirmed that it was important that the Governing Council's actions be and be seen to be both legally and ethically correct."
"The Governing Council believes that the probe commission was properly constituted in accordance with the IPL Operational Rules, and has consequently decided that an appeal should be filed in the Honourable Supreme Court."
Srinivasan recused himself from the meeting while this decision was taken but returned after that.
"This decision having been made, Mr. N. Srinivasan rejoined the meeting and, in the light of the pending appeal to the Supreme Court, requested Mr. Jagmohan Dalmiya to continue discharging his functions at the BCCI for the present," Patel said in the statement.
SRINIVASAN FORCED TO BACK DOWN
BCCI sources told PTI that it took intense persuasion from Board vice-President Arun Jaitley, also a legal luminary, Dalmiya and IPL Chairman Rajeev Shukla for Srinivasan to back down from his adamant stand to make a comeback as Board chief.
The BCCI also feared more legal complications if Srinivasan returned to the top post and chaired the Working Committee meeting since the probe, which cleared his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, had been declared illegal by the court.
According to a PTI report, Srinivasan was told that his return as BCCI President could lead to a wave of Public Interest Litigations across the country, creating more embarrassment for the Board.
Sources told IANS that according to the BCCI constitution, the committee cannot meet twice in a week.
The committee met last Sunday in Kolkata when the two-member probe panel submitted its report giving a clean chit to Meiyappan and Rajasthan Royals' co-owner Raj Kundra, in the Indian Premier League spot-fixing and betting scandal.
Srinivasan was apparently unhappy with the outcome but after consultation with his legal team arrived at a conclusion that it was better to call off the meeting.
BCCI TO CHALLENGE BOMBAY HC'S ORDER
The Indian cricket board on Friday said it would be appealing to the Supreme Court against the Bombay High Court order that had termed illegal its two-member probe panel in the Indian Premier League spot fixing and betting scandal.
Jaitley read out the High Court's order during the IPL Governing Council meeting in New Delhi and it was decided that the board will file a Special Leave Petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court.
BCCI's chief administrative officer Ratnakar Shetty said the Board will be filing a 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 Shetty.
SRINIVASAN CHOOSES THE EASY WAY OUT
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 hounds felt it was prudent to approach Supreme Court with a Special Leave Petition (SLP) challenging the Bombay High Court's ruling.
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. [LINK]
NO NEW PROBE PANEL
The BCCI has decided against forming a new panel to probe into the spot-fixing and betting allegations in IPL-6.
According to CNN-IBN, the decision was taken after legal advice as forming a new probe panel would mean that the Board had accepted the Bombay High Court's ruling.
The BCCI, it is learnt, will also appeal in the Supreme Court against the Bombay High Court order, which had declared the Board's IPL spot-fixing and betting probe "illegal and unconstitutional" earlier this week.
POSTPONED ON TECHNICAL GROUNDS
The scheduled working committee meeting had to be postponed on technical grounds as the agenda was not set and it was not mentioned as emergency working committee. According to the BCCI constitution, the committee cannot meet twice in a week.
BCCI vice-president Chitrak Mitra said the 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.
The committee met last Sunday in Kolkata when the two-member probe panel, comprising retired Tamil Nadu High Court judges T. Jayaram Chouta and R. Balasubramanian, submitted its report giving a clean chit to Meiyappan, also son-in-law of Srinivasan -- who stepped aside as BCCI president during the duration of the probe, and Kundra.
Srinivasan and 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.
NEXT WORKING COMMITTEE MEETING
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.
BOMBAY HIGH COURT'S RULING
The Bombay High Court had on Tuesday struck down the probe panel put together to investigate the spot-fixing scandal, after it absolved Meiyappan and Kundra of any role in the spot-fixing scandal. The court called the panel illegal and unconstitutional and asked the BCCI to form a new panel. The BCCI couldn't prove to the court that the formation of the panel was in line with its constitution, the court added.
"The entire matter needs to be re-investigated. There was disparity in the evidence collected by the probe panel," the high court said in a public interest writ petition filed by Naresh Matani challenging the panel's constitution. [LINK]
SPLIT WIDE OPEN
Even though there is hardly any Board member — apart from Punjab Cricket Association president IS Bindra — who is willing to openly criticise the chief, the divide is evident and the number of people unhappy with Srinivasan’s shameless attitude is on the rise each day.
Speaking to Mail Today, a senior BCCI official said the least Srinivasan could have done was to wait for the Working Committee to decide on the fate of the probe commission’s report.
“I don’t see any reason why Srinivasan couldn’t stay away from the hot seat for a while longer. The Working Committee is anyway going to decide on Friday whether or not it will follow the Bombay High Court’s ruling or challenge it in the Supreme Court. Returning after Friday would have been more sensible,” he said. [LINK]
SRINIVASAN STILL BCCI CHIEF: PATEL
Srinivasan may be under fire from all quarters on the "illegally" appointed panel to probe into the spot-fixing and betting allegations in the sixth edition of the IPL, but on Thursday, board secretary Sanjay Patel had said that he would chair the crucial working committee meeting in New Delhi on Friday.
Patel also told reporters in the capital that Srinivasan is still the BCCI president.
Srinivasan, who stepped aside as president of the BCCI two months ago, is apparently insisting on chairing the meeting even as his colleagues are divided over the constitution of the panel to probe the role of his Meiyappan and Kundra in betting and spot fixing in IPL-6. [LINK]
'I WAS OFFERED BRIBE'
As if towering over the game and being the most powerful body in world cricket wasn’t enough, it has now come to light that a “South Indian lobby” also resorted to arm-twisting tactics on behalf of the BCCI and Srinivasan’s when they were challenged by a lowly administrator from Bihar.
Aditya Verma, secretary of the non-recognised Cricket Association of Bihar (CAB), had challenged the might of Srinivasan and the BCCI by filing a public interest litigation in the Bombay High Court over allegations of betting and fixing in the IPL.
A day after the court declared the two-member probe committee set up the BCCI to probe the charges as “illegal and unconstitutional”, jeopardising Srinivasan’s return to the BCCI’s top post, Verma revealed he was offered all kinds of inducements and even threatened to withdraw the case. [LINK]