New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday decided to examine the controversial amendment in the BCCI rules which enables office bearers to own teams in the IPL and Champions League amidst raging debate over conflict of interest issue.

The apex court termed the issue of conflict of interest ‘relevant’ and decided to scrutinse the controversial amendments amidst blame game by top cricket administrator, N Srinivasan and I S Bindra over its introduction in the BCCI rules.

“BCCI has to defend the amendment,” a bench comprising Justices T S Thakur and F M I Kalifulla said. Before the bench decided to examine amendment 6.2.4 brought by the BCCI in February 2008 that excluded IPL and Champions League from the purview of conflict of interest and enabled its office bearers to own and promote teams for two events, Bindra said “this is the heart of the problem” and “because of this greed has come into the game”.

“The conflict of interest is involved since 2008 which has created the mess,” Bindra’s counsel Rajiv Dhavan said and added that ‘the game of cricket is going to dogs’. However, during his submission, he was interrupted by Srinivasan’s counsel Kapil Sibal, who said, “It was Bindra who had confirmed the minutes of the meeting on amendment and today five years after he is raising it here”.

When Sibal said that the issue of conflict of interest, vis-a-vis the amendment was not under challenge, the bench said the Cricket Association of Bihar (CAB), through its Secretary, Aditya Verma has challenged the relaxation in the BCCI rules. CAB had earlier raised the issue of conflict of interest against Srinivasan, alleging that he is the Managing Director of the company, Indian Cements Ltd, which owns the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the IPL.

While Dhavan was making submissions, the bench said “there are two options, either this court examines the amendment itself or this court does not go into it and leaves it to a committee to examine whether sports body can have this type of provisions or not and give suggestions”. The bench said it has to be examined whether in principle or ethically or morally such type of provision can be permitted or not.

The day’s hearing also saw the bench questioning the IPL Chief Operating Officer (COO) Sunder Raman for not taking action on receiving information that Srinivasan’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan and Rajasthan Royal’s Raj Kundra were in touch with actor Vindu Dara Singh who was allegedly acting as a contact of bookies in connection with the IPL 6 spot-fixing and betting scandal.

SC to go into ‘heart of the matter’, will examine amendment in BCCI rules which enables office-bearers to own and promote teams without any conflict of interest

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