Srinivasan appointed new ICC Chairman as India’s Supreme Court declines to interfere despite IPL investigation

Published 26 June 2014 | Authored by: Manali Kulkarni
This week’s Indian sports law update focuses on decisions surrounding N Srinivasan’s, former Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)1 president’s, role in the International Cricket Council (ICC)2 and the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA)3, the governing cricket association for the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. After the Supreme Court allowed Srinivasan to run in the upcoming ICC elections and the BCCI confirmed his candidacy, Srinivasan is now set to become the new ICC Chairman at the end of the coming week. Srinivasan also held his place in the TNCA as president after winning the elections on June 22, 2014.

Supreme Court refuses to interfere with Srinivasan’s nomination for ICC Chairman

When theIndian Premier League (IPL) spot-fixing scandalhearings were paused in April 2014, one of the unresolved matters was N. Srinivasan's, former BCCI president’s, place in the BCCI and the ICC.A two judge panel, led by Justice AK Patnaik5 and consisting of F M I Kalifulla6, passed an order on March 28, 20147, preventing Srinivasan from becoming BCCI president till after all investigations related to last year’s IPL spot-fixing case have concluded.8 The order did not however compromise Srinivasan’s place with the ICC.9
 
The Cricket Association of Bihar (CAB), the petitioner in the IPL spot-fixing scandal case, argued in the Supreme Court against Srinivasan participating in the upcoming ICC elections in June. CAB reiterated that because Srinivasan had been temporarily suspended as BCCI president, he should not be able to represent India in the ICC or run in the ICC chairman elections.10 However, the Supreme Court did not hear CAB’s request and agreed with previous Bench decisions, allowing Srinivasan to run in the ICC presidential elections, scheduled for June 27, 2014.11

 

The justices on the bench during the CAB’s request, J. S. Khehar and C. Nagappan, explained that the “apex court order was “clear” and it will not hear CAB’s plea on this issue.12 In that, Justices Khekar and Nagappan agreed with the earlier decision given to Srinivasan when he appealed at the end of May 2014 to be reinstated as president for all “non-Indian Premier League matters.13 . The apex court’s decision from May 22, 201414 explained that the original Bench,  formed by AK Patnaik and F M I Kalifulla15, which had ordered Srinivasan to step down as president and replaced him with Sunil Gavaskar and Shivlal Yadav as interim presidents,16 was the only one who could make changes to its order, to make Srinivasan’s limited reinstatement request possible. The initial order did not state that Srinivasan could not run in the ICC elections; it was only addressing Srinivasan’s BCCI presidency.
 
It appears that the Supreme Court is not in a position to change the March 28 decision with the approval of the original Bench by passing an order preventing Srinivasan from running in an ICC election. Thus, the Supreme Court proceeded not to hear the CAB’s plea against Srinivasan, and to support previous court decisions on this matter.17
 
The investigation panel for the IPL case is asked to submit a report of its findings to the Supreme Court by the end of August, after which the IPL hearings will resume again in September.18

Srinivasan appointed new ICC Chairman and president of Tamil Nadu Cricket Association 

On Friday, June 20, 2014, the BCCI sent in its final decision to the ICC, confirming its support and nomination for Srinivasan becoming ICC Chairman19 at the ICC Annual Conference from June 24 to 28 in Melbourne.20 Srinivasan is currently India’s representative on the ICC Executive Council.21
 
Today, 26 June, the ICC officially confirmed Srinivasan as their new chairman, while Mustafa Kamal became the ICC's 11th president.  The ICC members also approved the somewhat controversial amendments to the ICC constitution proposed in the February 8 meeting22. A pivotal decision made at the February 8 meeting was creating the “Big Three”, composed of India, England, and Australia, who have the deciding power over which countries can join the committee.23 Having Srinivasan as chairman in the ICC in light of the “Big Three” gives India a powerful presence in the ICC.
 
The ICC “comprises 51 members out of which 36 are associate representatives, five are affiliate members and 10 are full members which includes countries like India, Pakistan, Australia, England, South Africa, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and West Indies.24 None of the 51 ICC members objected to Srinivasan becoming the new chairman, and he will now commence his role on June 29, after the conclusion on the Annual Conference.25 Srinivasan will hold office as chairman for a two year transitional period, as decided in February.26
 
In addition to being confirmed as ICC Chairman, it appears that Srinivasan’s place in the Tamil National Cricket Association  (TNCA) was not affected by the IPL case, as he became the TNCA president for the 14th consecutive year on Sunday, June 22, 2014. At the TNCA’s 84th annual general body meeting, Srinivasan was elected unopposed as TNCA president, which has been the case for more than the last decade in the TNCA.27
 

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About the Author

Manali Kulkarni

Manali Kulkarni

Manali is the COO at LawInSport and executive contributor of the editorial board for LawInSport. She holds an LLM in Sports Law from Nottingham Law School (Nottingham Trent University).

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