SC corners BCCI for IPL ‘conflict of interest’

Indian Express | Sep 16, 2010 | 04:20 PM

The Supreme Court today put some searching questions to Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on permitting its Secretary N Srinivasan to bid for Chennai Super Kings, a franchise of IPL championship, as there appeared to be a "conflict of interest." A Bench of Justices J M Panchal and Gyan Sudha Mishra, during the arguments, said Srinivasan, being a key member of BCCI, should have ideally suspended his association with the Board before bidding for the franchise, which he had successfully won. "An amendment has been brought and there seems to be a conflict of interest. Can a person be a judge of his own case? "I am hearing the matter relating to the controversy. But can I participate in the bidding of IPL teams tomorrow?" Justice Sudha, speaking for the Bench, asked Attorney General G E Vahanvathi who appeared for the Board.

The apex court posed the query during the daylong hearing of the petition of former BCCI president A C Muthiah challenging the amendment made by the Board in its regulations to allow administrators to bid for franchises in IPL and T-20 tournaments. The Bench said Srinivasan, who was at that time the Treasurer of the Board, should have got his membership suspended as he definitely had a stake in the IPL tourney. "You introduce an amendment where the IPL will be an exception. You are a prominent industrialist holding a key position in the Board and have a stake in the bidding. "In order to avoid suspicion and be above board, you should have got your membership suspended," the Bench said.

The apex court brushed aside the Attorney General’s argument that Muthiah, being a former BCCI President, had no locus standi in challenging the amendment. The Bench, quoting BCCI rules, said it was under an obligation to inquire into any complaints made against its members. "It is your duty to look into the complaint. Otherwise, why should Muthiah has to come to the court? "One of your own rules says there should be no conflict of interest. BCCI clause provides that in the event of any complaint of violation of rules, you should conduct an inquiry. Why you not did it, the Bench said.

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