N Srinivasan is as devout a Hindu as one can find. A couple of months ago, the disgraced president-in-abeyance of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) gifted an elephant to the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvanthapuram. According to reports, the covert offering was made on February 9, a day before the Justice Mukul Mudgal Committee submitted its report on alleged wrongdoings in IPL 6 to the Supreme Court.
Interestingly, this revelation has been made by senior lawyer Gopal Subramaniam, who served as 'amicus curiae' in the temple case. "The internal auditor states that a payment of Rs 10 lakh was made by the temple towards the purchase of an elephant," Subramaniam wrote in his 575-page report. "The internal auditor, however, informed the amicus curiae that this purchase was facilitated by a middleman and documentation pertaining to the purchase of the elephant was not available... However, the amicus curiae was informed by a member of the royal family that the said elephant was a gift from N Srinivasan of India Cements," Subramaniam added.
Back to the elephant (a nine-year-old named Thunuki) and it has emerged that the presence of the poor animal amounted to violation of the law. According to the law, only elephants brought into Kerala before 2007 can be considered as gifts. Thunuki, which was brought from Assam earlier this year, and sold to Srinivasan who, in turn gifted it to the temple, was illegal.
For the record, Subramaniam also represented the Justice Mudgal Committee in the Supreme Court.