New Delhi: In a major relief for BCCI (Board of Cricket in India) secretary N. Srinivasan, the Supreme Court on Friday refused to restrain him from taking over as the cricket board president.
While allowing Srinivasan to take over as BCCI chief, a bench of justices Aftab Alam and R. M. Lodha also made it clear that his appointment would be subject to the final outcome of a petition by former BCCI president A. C. Muthiah, questioning his eligibility for holding any Board post while owning an IPL team.
Srinivasan is scheduled to take over as BCCI president from the Borad’s Shashank Manohar on 19 September.
The apex court passed the order on Muthiah’s application pleading that Srinivasan should be restrained from taking over the charge of the board till disposal of his plea against him.
Muthiah had earlier approached the apex court for restraining Srinivasan from holding any BCCI post while owning IPL Chennai Super Kings team on the ground that it would lead to a conflict of interest.
Earlier, an apex court bench had given a split verdict on Muthiah’s petition and the case was referred to a larger bench.
Earlier on 28 April, a two-judge bench of justices J. M. Panchal and Gyan Sudha Mishra had given a split verdict on whether an Indian cricket board administrator can hold stake in an IPL team and had referred the matter to Chief Justice of India S. H. Kapadia for referring the matter to a larger bench for a decision.
The split verdict had come on an earlier plea by Muthiah challenging an amendment in the BCCI regulation to exclude IPL and Twenty20 tournaments from its purview which he alleged was done to favour Srinivasan who owns the T20 franchise Chennai Super Kings.
While justice Panchal had dismissed Muthiah’s petition challenging the validity of the BCCI regulation amendment, justice Mishra allowed the petition holding that a Cricket board office bearer cannot have stake in the IPL team.
After the 28 April split verdict, Muthiah had moved the apex court afresh on 24 August for restraining Srinivasan from discharging his present duties as BCCI secretary and from assuming charge as president.
The court, however, had refrained from passing any order on the fresh application and had instead directed Muthiah’s counsel Nalini Chidambaram to approach the Chief Justice for appropriate remedy.
Muthiah in his application had sought a restraint on Srinivasan from discharging his duties on the ground that a two-judge bench of the apex court on 28 April had delivered a split verdict and referred to a larger bench to examine the legality of the BCCI secretary owning the Chennai Super Kings in the IPL.
The former BCCI president has contended that since a larger bench was expected to take up the hearing, it would not be appropriate to allow Srinivasan from discharging his duties as an office bearer of the cash-rich Cricket board.