Why Chennai Super Kings can’t be banned from IPL

Supreme Court special bench of Justice T S Thakur and F M Kalifullah, while hearing the IPL scam case, asked BCCI that, whether Chennai Super Kings franchise should be disqualified in order to sort out the conflict of interest issues pertaining to the 2013 IPL corruption case. Court also directed BCCI that, the annual general meeting scheduled for December 17 should go ahead but by ‘standing aside’ the individual included in the investigation of the IPL corruption case.

Court observed that, the difference between Srinivasan’s duty as president of the BCCI and his interest as an owner of an IPL team is “obvious”. While hearing the case Supreme Court asked,

  • “If there are so many anomalies, why can’t the BCCI act according its rules and disqualify CSK?”
  • “What is more valuable to Mr Srinivasan? Is it his office or his team?”

Court also opined that the “dual role” of MS Dhoni as the captain of CSK and vice president of India Cements is a matter of “concern.” Hence, BCCI must put an end to all its controversies and move to conduct the election because “the life of the BCCI board is over”, the court said. The Board taking any decision around the findings of the Mudgal probe, the court said, “must be a board which is legitimately in place and not a board which exists due to fortuitous circumstances.”

Justice Thakur opened the hearings this morning, and said, that the distinction between Srinivasan and India Cements “is getting to a vanishing point.” Srinivasan’s counsel was asked several details about India Cements, the owners of CSK. The court wanted to know who the real owners of India Cements were, who formed its board and whose decision it was to invest Rs 400 crore (approximately $100 million at the time) in the CSK franchise as well as information about the shareholding pattern in both CSK and India Cements, with particular reference to Srinivasan and his members of his family.

For the first time since any legal proceedings began around the 2013 IPL corruption case, the BCCI accepted that Gurunath Meiyappan, son in law of Srinivasan, was a “team official” for CSK.

A court observation is not binding but it does indicate the court’s line of thinking in a case. The observation gives the party in question a chance to take the steps being advised.

IPL Sport-fixing, Srinivasan should step down: SC

Supreme Court on Thursday suggested that the present President-in-exile N. Srinivasan and his team should step down and not contest elections for the BCCI.

The Bench of Justices T.S. Thakur and Ibrahim Kalifulla, while responding to Mr. Sundaram’s submissions that the disciplinary committee of the Board would take whatever action that was necessary, pursuant to the Mudgal panel’s report told Senior counsel Aryama Sundaram, appearing for the BCCI: “Let there be a fresh blood in the BCCI and let the new body decide on what action to be taken on the basis of Justice Mukul Mudgal committee’s report.”

The court made it clear to the BCCI that if it wanted to take action as per the Mudgal panel report, only the new Board could do so. Otherwise, the Mudgal panel itself could be asked to suggest what punishment it could impose on those found guilty based on its own findings.

On behalf of the Cricket Association of Bihar, Senior counsel Nalini Chidambaram submitted that Mr. Srinivasan was as guilty of his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan as per the BCCI Rules and the Anti Corruption Code for IPL. She said Mr. Srinivasan should be prevented from contesting the elections and his franchise Chennai Super Kings should be suspended. She said the findings of the Mudgal panel should be taken to its logical conclusion.

At this juncture, Justice Thakur asked Mr. Sundaram as to what action could be taken on the basis of the Mudgal report. When counsel replied that the punishment varied from suspension, termination, expulsion, reprimand and fine, Justice Thakur wondered whether the same persons in the Board, which was now on an extended tenure could be asked to take action.

Justice Thakur told the counsel “let all these people including Mr. Srinivasan step aside. Let them not stand for the elections. Let fresh blood in the Board decide on what action to be taken. The new Board is expected to act fairly.”

Justice Thakur said “we won’t say it is a happy situation but your term has ended and you continue due to fortuitous circumstances. But you still say the same Board will take action on the committee’s report including the question of disqualification of Chennai Super Kings.”

When Mr. Sundaram said the court could pass appropriate orders and there could be an external commission, Justice Thakur said “if we pass an order then we will be clutching at the functions of the Board. We will ask the Mudgal committee to go into the question of punishment.”