Former Board of Control for Cricket in India president and eminent lawyer Shashank Manohar was engaged in a proxy war of words with BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel over Tamil Nadu strongman N Srinivasan clinging to the hot seat in the world’s richest cricket body.
Manohar tore apart Srinivasan in an interview to Mumbai Mirror, saying: "If you had the slightest of conscience, self-esteem and care for the board, you ought to have put in your papers the moment your son-in-law was arrested. You did nothing and as a result the board's reputation has taken a hit to the extent that the people have lost faith in this board."
The Nagpur-based lawyer even accused Srinivasan of tarnishing the BCCI’s image.
"This board has been built over the years by very many people but its reputation has been damaged by this man (Srinivasan) in a span of four months," he was quoted as saying.
Although Patel, of the Baroda Cricket Association, was not as scathing in his attack of Manohar, he did make it clear that latter's statements haven't gone down too well.
"I would like to say nothing more except that if any ex-BCCI official, before making any remarks about their colleagues on the Board, should have considered that BCCI is running with (the help of) all the office bearers," Patel said, after the marketing committee meeting in Mumbai.
"My personal view is that it is always the collective responsibility of all office bearers. One cannot absolve himself by leaving aside the others. I don't know much in detail about the issue but that is the only thing I can say," Patel said.
Manohar had submitted an affidavit in the high court to clear his name from the cases filed against the BCCI by the Enforcement Directorate, but Patel views the move as something that amounts to shirking responsibility.
"There was no question of affidavit (filed by Manohar in the Bombay high court) being discussed. But (what was discussed) was the case fought by Shashank Manohar in his individual way (capacity) leaving aside the other office-bearers and the employees of BCCI. That thing was discussed. Members were not happy with the kind of thing that has happened," Patel said.
"BCCI rules and regulations and memorandum is very clear. The Board is functioning under the superintendence (authority) of the president. The entire Board is together on the issue. That is why, the issue was discussed in the AGM and the members have shown their displeasure," he added.
A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice M S Sancklecha, while quashing the ED notice, observed that ED had not considered the material placed by Manohar before it.
The ED, on June 6, 2013, had issued notice initiating adjudication proceedings against Manohar under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) regarding a bank account opened in South Africa by BCCI and IPL ahead of the cricketing event.
The agency had issued the notice asking the former BCCI president to appear before them, pursuant to a show cause notice sent earlier to Manohar.
"The agency had not considered the material placed by Manohar before it stating that he was not involved in the opening of the bank account and that he had advised the IPL governing council to inform the RBI before opening an account," the high court bench said.
Image: Shashank Manohar