CHENNAI: With November 24 looming, the BCCI versus Aditya Verma battle saw fresh exchange of words on Friday. In reply to N Srinivasan’s affidavit that the board had “reprimanded” a player for Code of Conduct violation, the Cricket Association of Bihar secretary questioned the method of identification, saying his name hasn’t been disclosed.
But what is more intriguing is Srinivasan’s stance that his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan has nothing to do with Chennai Super Kings even after Supreme Court-appointed Mudgal Committee’s report clearly saying he is a CSK ‘team official’. “Investigations have confirmed this individual (Meiyappan) was a team official of a franchisee,” the report had stated. Even India skipper MS Dhoni had told the Mudgal panel Meiyappan was not a team official.
In a separate affidavit, India Cements contended that Meiyappan, who has been indicted in the report, is not associated with the company. It pleaded an adverse order against India Cements could have “disastrous consequences” not only for Chennai Super Kings, but for the entire IPL. “The material on the basis of which the probe committee has arrived at this finding that he (Meiyappan) is a team official, has not been discussed in the report or disclosed to this respondent (India Cements),” their affidavit said.
It can’t be said which way things are heading, but before Judgment Day, all developments are important because they can have a bearing on the BCCI elections next month. Although Srinivasan’s close aides claimed to have their house in order a few days back, nothing could be taken for granted now.
In the affidavit to the SC, Srinivasan sought reinstatement as BCCI president, saying there was “nothing” in the Mudgal Committee report “incriminating” him in the IPL 6 scam. India Cements, the company of which he is the Managing Director, has pleaded with the court not to pass any adverse order that could lead to cancellation of the franchise of Chennai Super Kings. Srinivasan argued the report’s conclusion vindicates his stand all allegations against him were “false, baseless and motivated”.
The BCCI president-in-exile countered the findings of the panel that he along with four others board officials had not taken action against Individual 3 (player) despite being aware of his misconduct, saying the then president had dealt with the issue and he cannot be charged with inaction.
Verma, the petitioner in the case, said Srinivasan’s affidavit was an attempt to misguide the court. “The board is trying to cover up its misdoings. In the affidavit, the BCCI said it took all steps to reprimand individual 3 for violating the players’ Code of Conduct. How did the BCCI know the identity of individual 3, when the Supreme Court did not reveal it? It’s an attempt to show disrespect to SC and misguide the investigation. It’s sad that two other respectable BCCI officials, one of them an MP, are violating rules to favour Srinivasan.” BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel and IPL commissioner Ranjib Biswal said “individual 3” was caught for violating the Code of Conduct and let off after being reprimanded. They claimed the matter was settled after consultations with the then BCCI president Shashank Manohar. However it needs to be seen what the Individual 3’s reply has been to the investigating team. If sources are to be believed the individual apparently told the team no action was taken.
Verma said: “The affidavit is meaningless. My petition was about the betting and spot-fixing cases. It has nothing to do with an incident in the Indian national team when Biswal was the manager. Why doesn’t Srinivasan tell us what he has to say about Meiyappan? The report has indicated Srinivasan turned a blind eye to betting activities of his son-in-law.”