The Supreme Court on Monday came down heavily on BCCI's President-in-exile N Srinivasan for his participation in the Board's recent working committee meeting saying that he was "vulnerable" after its verdict in the IPL case that found him in a "conflict of interest" situation.
He should not have attended the meeting, a bench of justices T S Thakur and F M I Kallifulla, observed, though it did not issue contempt notice to Srinivasan after his lawyer Kapil Sibal sought time till Friday to take instruction and apprise the court of his stand.
"We found clear conflict of interest in his case. Therefore, he can't go on or contest elections. Having said that this makes him very vulnerable. He should not have participated in the meeting. We should not be seen running after him. The spirit of our judgment is that he is found in conflict of interest. We are not happy with it," the bench said.
During the hearing, Sibal said that Srinivasan has not committed any contempt as the court's judgement stops him from contesting elections but not from continuing in his current post till those elections. "Moreover, no decision was taken in the meeting (on February 8), only the date for election was fixed," he said.
"Once the Supreme Court finds that there is conflict of interest and you are not eligible to contest, will you be able to continue participating in the BCCI meetings," the bench asked.
The court's observation came on the hearing of a contempt petition filed by the Cricket Association of Bihar through Secretary Aditya Verma, which alleged that Srinivasan held a meeting of BCCI's working committee to decide on holding Annual General Meeting in March in alleged violation of the apex court directions.
When senior advocate Nalini Chidambaram, representing CAB, sought initiation of contempt proceedings, the bench said, “Though Srinivasan's position is "very vulnerable, we don't want this to become acrimonius."
The bench said, "We should believe Sibal that he will apprise him (Srinivasan) of our observations".
Chidambaram said that there was no ambiguity in the order and as on date, Srinivasan was disqualified from participating in the BCCI affairs and senior vice-president Shivlal Yadav was asked to take the charge.