Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Supreme Court on Srinivasan

Supreme Court wants N. Srinivasan to quit as BCCI President. On 25/3/2014 Justices A. K. Patnaik and F. M. I. Kalifulla said “We feel that unless the President of the BCCI steps down, no fair decision can be taken. Why is Mr. Srinivasan sticking to his chair? It is nauseating. Courts after courts have said he should step down… Srinivasan should step down else we will pass a verdict.”
BCCI lawyer C. Aryama Sundaram said there was evidence of betting in IPL and Supreme Court appointed panel comprising Mukul Mudgal, Nilay Dutta and L. N. Rao had not found evidence of match-fixing or spot-fixing. Supreme Court judges countered Sundaram saying “Don’t say that. You are saying this because you have not seen what is there in the sealed cover. We have seen it and so we are at the root of it…” They showed a portion of the report to Sundaram and said “We don’t want to damage people’s reputation but in our opinion, Srinivasan must step down. The man at the top must go there if there has to be any fair investigation… gist of the sealed cover report proves many allegations… allegations are such that BCCI cannot be trusted with this.”
I do not know what the judges meant by “Courts after courts have said he should step down.” Bombay High Court did not say Srinivasan should step down.
It is known toss-fixing, spot-fixing, session-fixing and match-fixing take place in IPL. Players, officials and umpires get involved. Many people know about fixing. They watch it as entertainment. Guilty must be punished. The arrests of three Rajasthan Royal players took place in the middle of May 2013. Other arrests followed. Srinivasan’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan was one of them. Asad Rauf’s name came up in IPL fixing and he returned to Pakistan. In September there was BCCI AGM and Srinivasan was re-elected as president. If Srinivasan is guilty those who voted for him are not better.
It is unfair to ask someone to step down based on the contents in a sealed envelope. The panel should have given the full report openly. If something was damaging to the reputation of players, umpires and officials, deponents should have been asked to submit affidavits. Supreme Court should make the contents of sealed envelope public. Srinivasan should be asked about what is written about him. If it is conflict of interest as CSK owner and BCCI president he can be barred from deciding matters where there is clash of interests. It is interesting that in the matter of declaration of assets of Supreme Court judges, Supreme Court filed a case in Delhi High Court. Supreme Court lost the case. Then it appealed to itself. Here is a curious case where a party to a dispute is judge.
Srinivasan claimed he is not the owner of CSK. India Cements owns CSK. He is a shareholder of CSK. Technically he is right. In reality he controls India Cements, so he owns CSK. If matches involving CSK were fixed and Meiyappan had a hand in it Supreme Court should make it public. If Srinivasan knew about fixing by Meiyappan and allowed it to continue he is guilty. In that case Supreme Court should say Srinivasan is guilty for allowing or cover-up of fixing in CSK matches and should quit.
What is a fair investigation? Police is not under Srinivasan’s control. One police officer, Sampath, is facing problems for deposing about fixing. Tamil Nadu police is under Tamil Nadu government. Action against Sampath is because home minister or chief minister of Tamil Nadu wants it.
BCCI has Arun Jaitley, Rajeev Shukla, Farooq Abdullah, Anurag Thakur, Narendra Modi, Jyotiraditya Scindia and many others as members. They have not spoken against Srinivasan.
Who are the cricketers involved in fixing? It is said six names are mentioned in the report. Mahendra Singh Dhoni has sued a channel for defamation.
In recent Ashes series many DRS decisions went against England. Without DRS results would have been different. Sometimes it seems DRS is used for match or spot-fixing.

Updated: March 27, 2014 — 7:38 am

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