Putting a spanner in N Srinivasan’s bid to get reinstated as BCCI chief, the Supreme Court today said it will look into ‘conflict of interest’ issue arising from his being head of the cricket board and owning an IPL team whose official is found to be involved in betting.
Observing that it is a “serious issue that can’t be wished away”, the apex court also made it clear that it will consider the conduct of his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, an official of Chennai Super Kings, while deciding his plea to get back his post from which he had to step aside in June last year in view of the IPL-6 betting and spot fixing scandal.
“Please do not go by the report that you are not involved in the betting and spot fixing and scuttling the probe. Despite all this your official is involved which will affect you,” the bench comprising justices T S Thakur and F M I Kalifulla, told Srinivasan’s counsel Kapil Sibal who pleaded that the report has nothing against him.
“Don’t presume anything,” the bench said, adding,”You are contesting the election by saying that you are not involved but somebody close to you is involved.”
At the outset, the bench raised questions on how Srinivasan can own a team while being President of the Board. It said “the BCCI and IPL cannot be separated and is a creature or product or byproduct of BCCI”.
“Some people who are in the BCCI now own a team. It has become a mutual benefit society. The ownership of team raises conflict of interests. President of BCCI has to run the show but you have a team which raises questions and it can’t be wished away,” it said.
Expressing serious concern over cricket being bowled by betting and spot fixing scandal in IPL 6, the bench said “cricket is a religion in the country and the purest form of the game must be restored”.