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Road blockers Srininivasan, Niranjan Shah attract Supreme Court ire

Ex-president and secretary score minus points for encouraging Indian board members to resist reforms

N Srinivasan and Niranjan Shah
N Srinivasan and Niranjan Shah

“My lordship, Mr N Srinivasan and Niranjan Shah walked in and hijacked the 26 June SGM of the BCCI.” These words by CU Singh, the lawyer representing the Committee of Administrators (CoA) was not sweet music to these Indian cricket czars in Supreme Court yesterday.

There was enough evidence to establish that Srinivasan and Shah had indeed blocked the Justice Lodha Committee reforms aimed at cleansing Indian cricket – a CD submitted by the CoA which contained audio recording of the 26 June Special General Meeting in which Srinivasan and Shah advised the BCCI members not to adhere to the Lodha recommendations.

” Thirty per cent of the time this gentleman (Srinivasan) dominated the proceeding,” the three-member bench comprising Justice Dipak Misra, AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, was informed.

Srinivasan’s lawyer Kapil Sibal argued in his client’s defence and on his behalf: “I am not disqualified. The Tamil Nadu Cricket Association’s constitution allows me to represent (them). Also there is no conflict of interest as I am not a team owner anymore.”

Justice Misra firm
Sibal failed to convince Justice Misra. “If a person is disqualified, he cannot be nominated by the same officials. An association cannot nominate a disqualified member,” observed Misra.

The bench decided to issue notices to Srinivasan and Shah and asked them to explain their position on the issue within a week. The next hearing for this issue is scheduled for July 24.

PTI adds: The CoA’s fourth status report said: “The SGM on June 26 was attended by various persons who are disqualified from being office bearers of BCCI and/or their respective state/member associations including N Srinivasan (represented TNCA) and Niranjan Shah (SCA) amongst others. “Such disqualified persons have a vested interest in stalling implementation of judgement because if the judgement is implemented, such disqualified person will have to relinquish control over their respective state associations,”it said.

Sibal appearing for TNCA accepted the court’s notice on behalf of Srinivasan and said the veteran cricket administrator has no conflict of interest as of now and he can very much become a nominee of an association by virtue of being its member.

Railways have an issue
Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar appearing for Railways and defence services said the Lodha panel recommendations have taken away their right to vote, despite being the founder members of BCCI. The bench said: “If we look into the history, we cannot deny the contribution made by railways to cricket. If any wrong has been done, then it can be corrected.”

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