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Apex court asks Srini to address ‘conflict of interest’

Srinivasan is the managing director of the India Cements which is the owner of the IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings.

‘You are a person who is managing the show (BCCI). You are also having a team competing in IPL. Would it not be a conflict of interest,’ asked an apex court bench of Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla. The court said this while observing that the IPL was BCCI’s creation.

Asked to explain the situation arising from the question of conflict of interest of Srinivasan, senior counsel Kapil Sibal, appearing for the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president, told the court that his interest is that ‘My team must win’.

In further posers to Sibal, the court asked ‘Who constitutes the BCCI? BCCI is headed by the president. Do you mean to say that when decisions are taken by BCCI, President Srinivasan is a mute spectator and expresses no views?’ As Sibal urged the court that Srinivasan’s elections should be separated from the larger issue as there was nothing against him, the court said, ‘You (Srinivasan) are not involved in betting but someone connected and close to you is handling the team.’

‘Please don’t go by the report alone. You may not be involved in betting, match fixing or scuttling the probe. You are assuming you have been given a clean chit. Don’t go by the (Mukul) Mudgal committee report alone. Question is whether you should at all be serving the BCCI,’ the court said.

Senior counsel C.A. Sundram, representing the BCCI, said that the apex cricketing body’s working committee had representatives of 21 state level cricketing bodies and each one of them was eminent in his own right.

Justifying Srinivasan’s India Cements owning CSK, Sundram said that ‘IPL when started was a commercial success. Then even BCCI office bearers were allowed to have the IPL franchise.’
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