N Srinivasan's defiant bid for an extended term as president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India has hit a massive roadblock after the Supreme Court ruled that he cannot take charge even if he is elected at Sunday’s Annual General Meeting.
Hearing a plea by the Cricket Association of Bihar, which sought to prevent Srinivasan from contesting, the Supreme Court, on Friday, allowed the Tamil Nadu strongman to contest but said he cannot take charge even if elected till further orders.
"In case Srinivasan is elected as president, he will not take charge until further orders," a bench, comprising Justices A K Patnaik and J S Kehar, said.
The bench took strong exception to Srinivasan still holding charge of the BCCI when his son-in-law, Chennai Super Kings Team principal Gurunath Meiyappan, has been charge sheeted in the IPL spot-fixing case.
It is another setback for the under fire Srinivasan, who already has his back to the wall after being forced to step aside after Meiyappan's name cropped up in the IPL betting scandal.
His company, India Cements, owns two-time IPL champions Chennai Super Kings.
Despite not having anything charge against his name, Srinivasan has been under tremendous pressure to resign on moral grounds, but remains defiant, challenging every dissenting voice within and outside the BCCI.
In fact, his election for an added one-year term as BCCI chief looked a real possibility this Sunday given that he has the backing of all the six units of south zone, whose turn it is to nominate a candidate for the top job.
But given the technicalities arising out of Friday’s order, the Board can hardly afford to have a president who cannot take charge immediately, as interim chief Jagmohan Dalmiya does not have the signing authority.
Dalmiya has been running the Board's day-to-day affairs, but Srinivasan is the signing authority despite stepping aside.
As per the court order, the 68-year-old Srinivasan cannot discharge the Board president's duties even if he is re-elected on Sunday, which means the Board will not have any functional head.
The situation thus becomes quite peculiar and opens up new options for the BCCI, which might include giving signing authority to Dalmiya as interim chief if Srinivasan remains the preferred choice of South Zone.
The other solution could be South Zone deciding to present a fresh candidate for the top post, which could mark the end of the Srinivasan era in the Board.
"The Supreme Court’s observations have put the BCCI in a tight spot. Even if Srinivasan is elected, he cannot function. Dalmiya has no signing powers. Some solution has to be found before the AGM,” a top Board official said.
Image: The headquarters of the Board of Control for Cricket in India