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Srini cannot contest BCCI elections: SC
Thursday 22 January 2015

The Supreme Court (SC) has barred N. Srinivasan from contesting Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) elections till such time he had "commercial interest in cricket." The SC also struck down the controversial Rule 6.2.4 of the BCCI Constitution, which Srinivasan amended in 2008 to facilitate his ownership of an IPL franchise.

The apex court read out a 130-page verdict based on the final probe report submitted by the Justice Mukul Mudgal committee, wherein it stated that Meiyappan, son-in-law of Srinivasan, was indeed an official of the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and did place bets on matches. Co-owner of the Rajasthan Royals, Raj Kundra, was also found guilty of the same charges as Meiyappan. 

Suspicion of cover-up was unfounded against Srinivasan, but SC made strong observation against him. "There is high probability that he was involved in corruption, but there is nothing to prove that."

"Decision to award compensation to India Cements casts a shadow of bias on Srinivasan. The argument that Srinivasan owns a minuscule share of India Cements is misleading because his family owns much more," the court said, which effectively means the amendments made to rule Rule 6.2.4 of the BCCI Constitution has been struck down.

As a consequence, Srinivasan will not be allowed to contest the BCCI presidential elections that, SC said, should be held within the next six weeks.

Another important part of the verdict was that SC has appointed a three-member committee led by former Chief Justice RS Lodha to decide on the quantum of punishment for Meiyappan and Kundra and decide on the fate of franchises they are associated with (CSK and RR).

"We will not be dealing with the fate of franchises and will refer the subject to a three-member committee," SC said. "BCCI did not adhere to prescribed procedures while conducting probe in IPL spot-fixing and betting scandal," the court added.

But SC clarified that the conflict of interest issue does not apply to former players employed by IPL franchises as mentors or coaches. "Professional engagement is different from commercial interest," SC said on the matter.

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