International Cricket Council (ICC) chairman Narainswamy Srinivasan can’t seek another term as president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India if he continues to have a stake in Indian Premier League franchise Chennai Super Kings, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday.
Srinivasan, who is the Managing Director of India Cements company that owns the Chennai team, had stepped aside as BCCI chief following an earlier court order but was seeking a re-election in upcoming polls.
The apex court ruled in its 130-page verdict that ”BCCI functions are public functions, amenable to judicial law” and that ”distinctions can’t be made between BCCI and IPL” in regard to conflicts of interest.
The court, which had earlier allowed the BCCI to postpone its elections till Jan. 31 pending an order, asked the BCCI to hold its elections within six weeks.
The decision was announced following a report from the apex court’s own committee and completion of arguments between the BCCI and appellant Cricket Association of Bihar, which had filed the case claiming a conflict of interest in regard to a spot-fixing probe against Srinivasan’s son-in-law and Chennai team principal Gurunath Meiyappan.
The court also ordered the formation of a three-member committee headed by former chief justice Rajendra Lodha to decide the punishment against Meiyappan and Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra, whom the court found guilty of betting during the 2013 IPL.
The committee will also suggest reforms and amendments to BCCI’s rules within six months.
The court arrived at the decisions following a probe led by Justice Mukul Mudgal, which had found Meiyappan and Kundra guilty of being in contact with illegal bookmakers.
According to IPL rules, a team can be suspended if its officials bring the tournament into disrepute.
Meiyappan, who was arrested for two weeks by Mumbai Police in 2013 over allegations of spot-fixing before being bailed, was cleared by the BCCI’s own panel, but a petition from regional body CAB led to the Bombay High Court declaring that panel ”illegal and unconstitutional.”
The CAB then took the issue to the Supreme Court, which ordered an investigation into the role of Srinivasan and 12 others last year.
The fixing controversy erupted after a clutch of cricketers, including former test bowler Shantakumaran Sreesanth, were arrested for allegedly giving away a minimum number of runs in exchange for money from bookies.