Initiating a clean up, the Supreme Court today took the BCCI out of N Srinivasan's grip and handed it over to legendary player Sunil Gavaskar during upcoming IPL 7 but allowed Chennai Superkings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) to play in the tournament.
While posting the case for hearing on April 16, the Court also directed that the senior most Vice President of the Board, Shivlal Yadav, will be looking after the other affairs of BCCI.
A bench of justices A K Patnaik and F M Ibrahim Kalifulla, which had yesterday proposed barring CSK and RR in the tournament, did not bar them from playing in the matches along with six other teams in the Indian Premier League tournament beginning April 16 in Dubai.
It also said that Gavaskar will have to get out of the contract with BCCI for commentary in order to discharge the duty assigned by the court. It directed BCCI to adequately compensate the veteran cricketer.
There was no clarity on what will be the status of Srinivasan, who had last year stepped aside in the wake of betting and match-fixing scandal during IPL 6, when former President Jagmohan Dalmiya was made the acting head briefly.
However, Srinivasan's term comes to an end in September when the Annual General Meeting of the BCCI is scheduled to take place when a new chief could be elected.
The apex order today came during a hearing on the Justice Mudgal Committee report that went into betting and spot-fixing charges against those in CSK and RR during IPL 6.
In a packed-courtroom, the bench made it clear that no employee of India Cements, except players and commentators, will be allowed to get involved in any duties or activities of BCCI.
It also said that it is for Gavaskar to decide whether the present Chief Executive Officer of IPL, Sundar Raman, can continue in the post or be replaced following allegations made against him in the court of protecting Srinivasan.
In the meantime, BCCI pleaded with the court to allow Srinivasan to hold the post of International Cricket Council (ICC) Chairman from July. But the bench refused to pass any order regarding this.
The BCCI also vehemently rejected the allegations levelled against Indian cricket team captain M S Dhoni by counsel Harish Salve, who accused him of "covering up" Gurunath Meiyappan.
"He has been wrongly vilified by media after false allegations were leveled against him in the court yesterday.
He never made a statement that Meiyappan was just a cricket enthusiast as submitted by senior counsel Harish Salve," senior advocate C A Sundaram, appearing for BCCI, told the bench.
"The Statement made yesterday was false," he said.
The apex court had yesterday made several proposals when it took up Mudgal Committee's report into the alleged betting and spot fixing during last year's IPL.
It had proposed to replace N Srinivasan with Gavaskar and to bar CSK and RR from IPL 7 till it decides the case of betting and spot fixing scandal.
The bench had suggested the action as the players and officials of these teams were suspected to be involved in the scandal by the police and the three-member probe panel headed by former Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal.
After going through the contents of a report filed in a sealed cover by its probe panel into the scandal, the apex court had said there are "very very serious" allegations made in the report and unless the BCCI President steps down, no fair probe can be conducted.
"In our opinion, Srinivasan has to step down if proper probe is to be done in the case," the bench had said, adding, "If you would not step down, we will pass the verdict." The BCCI had yesterday placed before the bench a copy of its proposal in which it had assured the court that disciplinary action will be immediately taken on the basis of Mudgal Committee report.
It had said it was in favour of further investigation in the scandal as proposed by the panel.
The apex court-appointed panel had said Meiyappan's role in CSK as the team official and his involvement in betting during the IPL matches stands proved.
The report of the committee, however, said allegations of fixing against Meiyappan require further investigation and also left it to the apex court the issue of conflict of interest against Srinivasan.
The over 100-page report went into various issues like suspected involvement of six India-capped players in fixing, betting allegations against Rajasthan Royals owners and the need to bring discipline in players.
The three-member committee has named in its report six prominent "Indian capped" players, including one who is part of the current team and that portion of report was filed in a sealed envelop.
"The committee is of the view that the material on record clearly indicates that Meiyappan was the face of CSK and the team official of CSK," the report has said, while rejecting Srinivasan's contention that he was merely a cricket enthusiast.
The Board had earlier said that "speculative and baseless" charges against leading cricketers have been made by "unscrupulous" news channels and the apex court must pass an order to prevent any further damage to the image and reputation of "innocent" cricketers.
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