New Delhi: The Supreme Court has refused to stay the Bombay High Court ruling that a two-man internal inquiry set up by the Indian cricket board to look into the spot-fixing scandal was "illegal and unconstitutional."
The top court will conduct its final hearing on the Board's Special Leave Petition (SLP) against the High Court order on August 29 and has, in the meantime, issued notices to the Cricket Association of Bihar, which had petitioned the High Court against the findings of the panel appointed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
Today's developments means that N Srinivasan will have to wait a little longer before he can get back in office as BCCI president.
The internal inquiry conducted by the BCCI panel of two retired High Court judges had said it had found no evidence of betting or spot-fixing against Mr Srinivasan's son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan or the Chennai Super Kings, the team owned by his company India Cements.
The all-clear given by the BCCI panel seemed to have cleared the decks for Mr Srinivasan to get back to his post; he had reluctantly stepped aside in June after many board members sought his resignation when his son-in-law was arrested on charges of betting and spot-fixing.
He even began attending office, arguing that he had stepped aside only till the Board's inquiry was completed.
The Bombay High Court ruling however put a spanner in the works for Mr Srinivasan, who was reportedly advised not to take over as BCCI president again while the Board appealed in the Supreme Court against the High Court decision. Jagmohan Dalmiya is, meanwhile, continuing as interim BCCI president.
The High Court has said that the BCCI inquiry was not set up in accordance with proper rules, which provide that such panels should have three members, one of whom is a member of the BCCI.
The BCCI has argued that the High court should not have entertained the petition filed by Aditya Verma of the Bihar Cricket Association because no fundamental rights of the petitioner had been violated. And also that Mr Verma is not a member of BCCI.