More acts of conflict of interest surface

Muthiah submits additional examples against Srinivasan to the Supreme Court

N. Srinivasan

Former BCCI president A. C. Muthiah has submitted 12 more instances of alleged conflict of interest against current Board president N. Srinivasan before the Supreme Court this week.

Muthiah is trying to establish that while buying the Chennai franchise of the Indian Premier League (IPL) for his company, India Cements, Srinivasan's different positions in the BCCI and his private business caused a conflict of interest.

Srinivasan was BCCI's treasurer from 2005-06 to 2007-08, its secretary from 2008-09 to 2010-11 and has been the Board president since September 2011. If there is no challenger to the president's post at the next BCCI annual general body meeting — it usually takes place in September — he will get another year (and the last of three) at the helm.

Muthiah, who was BCCI president from 1999-2000 to 2000-2001, had originally filed a suit in a Chennai court, pointing out Srinivasan's conflict of interest. He had prayed for permanent injunction restraining Srinivasan (second respondent in the case) from functioning as secretary of the BCCI, the first respondent.

He had also prayed for a mandatory permanent injunction directing the BCCI not to permit Srinivasan to contest any of the posts of office-bearers of the Board in future for such a reasonable number of years as the court may deem fit. T HEN, Muthiah filed a special leave petition in the Supreme Court. He has now filed an interlocutory application for submitting additional documents in his SLP, along with a prayer for interim relief.

Muthiah wants a key BCCI rule, which allegedly helped Srinivasan buy the IPL's Chennai franchise, to be declared illegal.

It's Clause 6.2.4 of the BCCI regulations for players, team officials, managers, umpires and administrators. It was amended to the effect that "clause 6.2.4 will not apply to IPL and Champions T20 League”, at the BCCI AGM held on September 27, 2008.

Muthiah claims it is "illegal, opposed to public policy, malafide exercise of power, abuse of the power of amendment” and, therefore, the amendment should be declared null and void.

While enlisting the 12 alleged instances of the conflict of interest (see box), Muthiah has pointed out that at times Srinivasan wore up to four different hats — BCCI secretary/ president, member of the IPL governing council, president of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association, and vice-president and managing director of India Cements.

12 OTHER INSTANCES

1 — It's reliably understood that India Cements' Memorandum and Articles of Association did not permit the company to participate in IPL activities at the time of the auction [of teams]. It's clear the first respondent [BCCI] failed to verify the object clause of India Cements Ltd.

2 — Amendment to the BCCI's clause 6.2.4 of the Regulations for players, team, officials, managers, umpires, and administrators. The BCCI amended it "so as to exclude events like Twenty20 cricket and Champions League T20” from the scope of the clause by placing the report of a two-member panel directly at the BCCI AGM on August 28, 2008, without bringing the report for approval by the working committee.

3 — Payment of Rs. 10.40 crore as compensation to Chennai Super Kings [and same amount for another franchise] for cancellation of the 2008 Champions League T20. The second respondent [N. Srinivasan] attended a CLT20 council meeting on December 12, 2008, as a member and approved the payment.

4 — IPL GC gave the state associations two options for receiving payments from franchisees for hosting IPL matches. The second respondent, as BCCI secretary and also as president of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association, which owns the Chennai stadium, was part of the IPL GC in the decision making. Thus, he wore four hats (including vice-president and managing director of India Cements).

5 — Fudging of amount for player trading in February 2009 and manipulation of the franchise purse of $2 million. CSK had only $ 1.85 million left in their account, but claimed that they were not renewing Chamara Kapugedara's contract. This was because of the second respondent's position in the first respondent.

6 — Allegations of IPL auction being rigged in favour of CSK were made by a former IPL chairman, adding that he was arm-twisted into allowing Andrew Flintoff to stay with India Cements-owned CSK.

7 — BCCI gave Rs. 38.50 crore to TNCA to reconstruct MA Chidambaram Stadium without verifying whether TNCA has obtained necessary approval from appropriate authorities.

8 — K. Srikkanth's appointment by India Cements as CSK brand ambassador when he was also the chairman of the senior national selection committee.

9 — The second respondent participated in an emergency IPL GC meeting held to discuss conducting IPL in UK/South Africa and additional expenditure for the franchisees to be undertaken by the IPL/BCCI.

10 — It has now emerged that a general entertainment channel of STAR India, BCCI's media rights holders, was one of the sponsors of last year's IPL champions CSK. (Media reports relied upon for this)

11 — It's said that even selectors find it hard to drop some players because of their brand value in BCCI/ IPL system.

12 — A statement by the second respondent at an IPL GC meeting, held on September 2, 2009, is cited as another instance of conflict of interest.

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