New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday said sidelined BCCI president N Srinivasan cannot contest elections for the Indian cricket board's governing body presidency as long as he is involved in a "conflict of interest" situation as an owner of IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings (CSK).
The apex court said this while striking down an amendment to the BCCI rules which permitted the office bearers of the apex cricket body to have commercial interests in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the Champions League Twenty20 and all events organised by the BCCI.
The apex court bench, headed by Justice T.S. Thakur, held Srinivasan's son-in-law and CSK "official" Gurunath Meiyappan, and IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals' co-owner Raj Kundra guilty of betting and said the punishment will not only be confined to them but also extend to the franchises they represent.
The court set up a three-member committee headed by former Chief Justice R.M. Lodha to decide, besides other issues, the quantum of punishment to be given to Meiyappan and Kundra.
The court also asked Srinivasan to stay away from the BCCI on account of his commercial interest in CSK.
But the court made a distinction between commercial interest and professional interest in respect of service rendered by prominent former cricketers Sunil Gavaskar and current Indian team's director Ravi Shastri as commentators.
Following are some of the key points in the SC ruling:
On N Srinivasan
SC gives N Srinivasan clean chit as charges of cover-up against him in the IPL spot-fixing and betting case have been not proved.
N Srinivasan or any administrator having commercial interest in cricket can't contest for BCCI post till they have those interests.
BCCI did not adhere to prescribed procedures while conducting probe in IPL spot-fixing and betting scandal.
BCCI is amenable to article 226 and judicial law and their functions are public functions.
Amendment in BCCI rules allowing Srinivasan to own IPL team is bad. SC strikes down BCCI's rule amendment of 6.2.4 which gave right to BCCI's official to have stake in IPL and CLT20. No one can be judge in his own cause and principles of natural justice are sacrosanct. No rule can permit a conflict of interest. If the purity of the game is undermined then the essence of the game will be lost. Rule 6.2.4 is unsustainable and illegal.
Three Member Committee of former Judges RM Lodha, Ashok Bhan and RV Ravindran constituted to recommend reforms and amendments by BCCI.
SC ordered that BCCI may hold its election in 6 months, but people having conflict of interest will not contest election
Issue on whether eminent players etc. are impacted by Rule 6.2.4 is not subject matter of petition.
BCCI performs key public functions and is amenable to wit juridical under Article 226 of Constitution of India.
State has chosen not to bring law to check monopoly of BCCI.
Gurunath Meiyappan of CSK & Raj Kundra of RR are indeed "Team Officials" and were involved in betting.
SC constituted 3 judges committee which will decide quantum of punishment on Raj Kundra and Meiyaapan
Allegations against IPL COO Sundar Raman need to be probed further.
Report of the last hearing on December 17
On December 17, the apex court bench of Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla had reserved the verdict after senior counsel C.A Sundaram for the BCCI, Kapil Sibal for N. Srinivasan, Nalini Chidambaram for the CAB, and Rajeev Dhavan for former BCCI president I.S. Bindra had concluded their arguments.
Earlier, the petitioner Cricket Association of Bihar (CAB) had sought the ouster of Srinivasan from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on the grounds that he was placed in a "conflict of interest" situation on account of his duties as the head of the apex cricketing body of the country and his interest as owner of CSK.
Srinivasan is the vice-chairman and managing director of India Cements Limited that owns IPL franchisee Chennai Super Kings.
The petitioner had also sought the termination of CSK following the indictment of Srinivasan's son-in-law and team official Gurunath Meiyappan for betting in the IPL 2013.
The CAB had also challenged the amendment to the BCCI Rule 6.2.4 that permitted Srinivasan to have IPL franchisee CSK without attracting the provision of "conflict of interest".
Rule 6.2.4 of the BCCI constitution prohibits the office-bearers of the apex cricketing body from having any direct or indirect commercial interest in the cricketing events organized by it. The rule on the conflict of interest was amended Sep 27, 2008, by which the IPL and Champions League Twenty20 were excluded from its ambit.