The Supreme Court on Monday ended former ICC and BCCI President N. Srinivasan’s bid – at least for the time being -- to attend a crucial meeting of the International Cricket Council this month, even as it endorsed BCCI acting secretary and CEO’s nominations for the conclave in Dubai.
A three-member bench, headed by Justice Dipak Misra, and also comprising judges A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud, said BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary can be present at the ICC Executive Board’s meeting and CEO Rahul Johri can attend ICC CEOs’ meeting on April 24.
Since the court order is clear, a special general body meeting, called by a section of the BCCI that was backing Srinivasan, in Delhi on Tuesday has now become “in fructuous”, said a Supreme Court lawyer.
“Since Srinivasan has been held guilty by the apex court for conflict of interest he cannot be allowed to represent the BCCI in the ICC meeting. It is directed that Amitabh Chaudhary shall represent the BCCI in the ICC meeting and Rahul Johri shall accompany him and he (Johri) will also attend the meetings of the CEOs’,” the bench said.
The court had said on April 10 that a person who is ineligible to become an office-bearer of the BCCI and any of the state associations cannot represent the BCCI at ICC meetings.
“The only issue that is required to be decided today is who will represent the BCCI in the ICC meeting which is scheduled to be held on 24.04.2017. In course of hearing, we have been apprised that Mr. Amitabh Chaudhary, who is presently the acting secretary of the BCCI can be nominated to attend the meeting. At this juncture, it is also submitted that Mr. Rahul Johri, the Chief Executive Officer should accompany him and attend the meeting of the Chief Executive Officers,” said the order.
“Regard being had to the significance of representation of the BCCI in the said international body, i.e., ICC, it is directed that Amitabh Chaudhary shall represent the BCCI before the ICC and Mr. Rahul Johri shall accompany him and also attend the meeting of the Chief Executive Officers,” it further said, while posting the hearing to July 14.
This virtually ends a concerted bid by a section of the BCCI to nominate Srinivasan to attend the ICC meeting, with an eye on the larger picture of Board politics, i.e. to hold power despite a Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) is administering the Board currently.
Apart from being in a conflict-of-interest zone, Srinivasan, who is still president of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association in defiance of the Supreme Court order, also stands disqualified as per the Lodha Committee recommendations that have been accepted by the Supreme Court.
Srinivasan was conflicted as he, despite being TNCA president, owned an IPL franchise (Chennai Super Kings). As BCCI secretary and president, Srinivasan attended IPL governing council meetings, and was thus aware of the decisions being taken by the BCCI while, at the same time, being the owner of the CSK franchise. Experts say that it was easy to spot him in a conflict of interest territory, a point that the Supreme Court endorsed in its landmark July 18, 2016, judgement while upholding a majority of the Lodha Committee recommendations.
Apart from the conflict of interest issue, Srinivasan stands disqualified on three counts. He is 72 years old and thus breaches the 70-year-old rule and also a maximum of nine-year tenure rule for office-bearers of the state associations as well as the BCCI. This is the 15th successive year in which Srinivasan has been president of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA).