The Supreme Court, in its much-awaited verdict on the IPL spot-fixing scandal, gave N Srinivasan a clean chit, saying the beleaguered BCCI boss was not involved in a cover-up, but the Chennai Super Kings owner's hopes of standing for the BCCI president's post another time was crushed, with the apex court insisting Srinivasan cannot contest the polls – not as long as he is the owner of the Chennai Super Kings.
In a verdict read out by the Supreme Court on Thursday, all of 130 pages long, the highest court in the country gave Srinivasan a clean chit, saying the beleaguered boss had done nothing wrong nor covered up anything following the IPL spot-fixing saga of 2013, which involved his son in law Gurunath Meiyappan.
However, the verdict also came with a caveat, with the Supreme Court coming down hard on the amendment made in the controversial BCCI clause 6.2.4 which allowed Srinivasan to bid for a franchise in the IPL in the first place.
The SC noted that the real problem behind this entire conflict of interest issue arose from that particular amendment made by the parties concerned, "calling it unsustainable and illegal."
The Supreme Court also stressed Srinivasan was not involved in a cover up, saying "the charges against Srinivasan can t best be regarded as suspicion" (make what you want of that) opening up the chance for the beleaguered former boss to get back on that saddle and fight for the president's post in the upcoming elections.
However, the Supreme Court, while insisting the BCCI does come under the public domain and is therefore viable for scrutiny, also barred BCCI officials from owning teams in the IPL – which basically meant Srinivasan could not stand for the post of BCCI's president, not unless he gave up his ownership of the CSK team.
"Srinivasan cannot contest in the BCCI elections until he gives up his commercial interests in CSK," the Supreme Court read in its verdict.
Supreme Court also ordered India's cricket board to hold its already-postponed elections within the next six weeks, while constituting a three-member panel which will decide on the futures of the Chennai Super Kings, Rajasthan Royals, Meiyappan, Raj Kundra and IPL COO Sundar Raman.
The three-member panel of RM Lodha, Ashok Bhan and RM Ravindran – all ex-SC judges -- will also recommend some reforms and amendments to be made by the BCCI as a result of the fallout of that controversial clause, with the final report to be handed within three-six months.
In a worst-case scenario for the franchises, both CSK and RR could be thrown out completely of the IPL, with everything now depending on the three-member panel set by the SC.
Srinivasan's future was in limbo with the SC asking him to stay away from the daily affairs of India's cricket board, following a petition originally filed by Aditya Verma way back in June 2013.
SC's major concern regarding Srinivasan was the conflict of interest owing to the fact that he is the owner of the IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings.
The Supreme Court has clearly stated it is not happy with the fact that Srinivasan is an owner of a team in the IPL and the president of the BCCI as well, which in turn led to him being sidelined.
Srinivasan and his counsel had claimed that Meiyappan, his son in law, who was accused of betting and giving out team information, was not a part of the CSK team setup, and merely a cricket enthusiast, which was clearly shot down by the Supreme Court in its verdict on Thursday.
The SC also said Raj Kundra was also very much a part of the Rajasthan Royals team and involved in betting along with Meiyappan.