The Supreme Court of India has agreed to hear the BCCI's appeal against the Bombay High Court's verdict that declared its IPL probe panel illegal and unconstitutional. However, the Court refused to grant the BCCI's request of an interim stay and set further hearings for 29 August.
That means the Bombay High Court's ruling stays in effect until the Supreme Court makes its own ruling on the case, so the status quo remains and Jagmohan Dalmiya continues as the BCCI's interim president in place of N Srinivasan, who stepped aside a second time after the Bombay High Court's verdict.
The BCCI had filed a Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court on Monday appealing the Bombay High Court’s order. The Bihar Cricket Association, which filed the original PIL against the board, had filed a caveat with the Supreme Court making it part of any appeal by the BCCI.
The Bombay High Court’s verdict was handed down on 30 July, two days after the two member-probe panel comprising retired Tamil Nadu High Court judges T. Jayaram Chouta and R. Balasubramanian handed in its report clearing Gurunath Meiyappan, board president N Srinivasan’s son-in-law, and Raj Kundra, the co-owner of Rajasthan Royals, of all the allegations against them. That set the stage for Srinivasan’s return as BCCI president, after he had stepped aside while the probe was on.
However, the High Court’s decision put a spoke in all those plans, leading to a contentious IPL Governing Council meeting on 2 August.
Challenging the High Court order, senior advocate C A Sundaram, appearing for BCCI, submitted that the Board is entitled to set up two-member probe panel comprising outside members and the HC erred by holding that operational rules mandated presence of at least one member of the IPL Code of Behaviour Committee.
Cricket Association of Bihar, however, opposed the contention saying that BCCI interim president has no power to decide on these issues as he was appointed just to see day to day proceedings of the Board.
Nalini Chidambram, appearing for them, also raised question on who decided the constitution of the panel.
The bench then remarked that the two judges are from Chennai itself. She replied "That is the problem".
In a blow to BCCI and its president-in-exile N Srinivasan, the High Court had on July 30 held that the two member panel was constituted in violation of the rules framed by the BCCI.
"The (probe) Commission was not duly constituted and was contrary to and in violation of the provisions of Rules 2.2 and 3 of Section 6 of the Operational Rules (of BCCI)," the High Court had said and also rejected Srinivisan's plea for a stay on its order to enable him move a higher court in appeal.
(with inputs from PTI)