The Supreme Court on Monday declined to accede to the request of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) former president, N Srinivasan, to separate the issue of election to the board from the other ones thrown up by the Mukul Mudgal committee report. His counsel, Kapil Sibal, insisted Srinivasan had been exonerated by the committee report and if one player was found involved in betting, the whole Indian Premier League (IPL) should not be tarnished. However, the Bench headed by T S Thakur said BCCI and IPL were not separate entities; they were “mutual benefit societies”. There is conflict of interest arising from the ownership of the team. They are closely associated. The whole affair has shaken the confidence of the ordinary people, it said. “If they know that the match is already fixed, who will come to the stadium?” the judges asked, adding: “You should not preside over liquidation of the gentleman’s game.” BCCI counsel A Sundaram said the board would take action on the basis of the report. “We will do it on our own,” he said.
Action has already been taken against Gurunath Meiyappan, Srinivasan’s son-in-law. This was not an adversorial litigation and the board will act on the basis of the report, the counsel said. The judges, while adjourning the case till Tuesday afternoon, asked the parties to frame specific issues, so that they could be decided by the court. Sibal proposed a few issues, mainly to let the election be conducted. Senior counsel Nalini Chidambaram, counsel for the Bihar Cricket Association, wanted action against all those named in the report and disclosure of the name of the player who was found involved in betting. The judges did not pass any order.