IPL scam: Supreme Court says Srinivasan can’t contest BCCI elections; says Meiyappan involved in betting

NEW DELHI(WEB TEAM): The Supreme Court on Thursday in its verdict on the IPL betting scandal said that N Srinivasan’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan was involved in betting on IPL games. It added that an ‘independent committee’ would decide the fate of franchises Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings. But it provided the biggest jolt to Srinivasan by barring him from contesting the next BCCI elections. According to the court, the next BCCI elections must be held within six weeks.

The court observed that Srinivasan had ‘deep rooted interest’ in CSK matches. The apex court struck down the amendment to Section 6.2.4 which allowed Srinivasan to hold a stake in Chennai Super Kings. Observing that such stake created a conflict of interest, the court stated that ‘no rule can permit conflict of interest’ and that ‘no BCCI administrator can have a conflict of interest’.

SC also slammed BCCI for claiming that Srinivasan held a ‘minuscule interest’ in India Cements, asserting that such an argument was misleading. However, it added that allegations of cover-up against Srinivasan are not proven. At best, there could be a suspicion against Srinivasan, the court said.

The apex court added that Meiyappan and Raj Kundra, the co-owner of Rajastan Royals were team officials for their respective teams. The court also criticised Meiyappan contending that IPL franchisees are affected by frauds committed by team officials. Earlier, N Srinivasan had claimed that Meiyappan was merely an enthusiast and was not associated in any official capacity for Chennai Super Kings (CSK).

Seemingly brushing aside the contention that Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was a private body, the top court said that the board functions are public functions which can be reviewed by the judiciary. The court also observed that the government did not bring in any law to check the monopoly of BCCI. Furthermore, the Supreme Court ask BCCI to form a report commitee to look into all the above aspects.

Ever since the name of Gurunath Meiyappan cropped up during the investigations, there have been calls for the termination of Chennai Super Kings.

dna had repeatedly exposed the activities of Meiyappan, who in his capacity as CSK team principal and de facto owner, was privy to inside information.

Srinivasan, on his part, had maintained that he is “innocent” and that he has nothing to do with Meiyappan. However, the SC repeatedly put him in a tight spot by reminding him that “you are not just the owner of CSK, but by being the highest-ranking official in the game (BCCI and ICC), it is your duty to keep the integrity of the game intact”.

The Justice Mukul Mudgal committee has submitted a 5,000-page on the 13 individuals named by it in an earlier report. The judges have surely studied the findings of team of police officials headed by senior IPS officer BB Mishtra.

Srinivasan’s defence had irked many a cricketing legend, but apart from Gavaskar, who also retracted his comments made in Australia later, no one had the courage to take him on.