In another sensational twist to the IPL spot-fixing scandal, the Supreme Court on Friday installed legendary Indian batsmen Sunil Gavaskar as Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) working president but only for the Indian Premier League matches for the time being.
The apex court also allowed under-fire Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals to play in the seventh edition of IPL for the sake of cricket lovers. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has said that Gavaskar must be compensated for being an interim president. Gavaskar is contracted with the BCCI to do TV commentary.
"Any Vice-president of the BCCI can take over after the IPL is over," the SC added. BCCI vice-president Shivlal Yadav will take care of all non IPL BCCI affairs.
As interim president of the BCCI, Sunil Gavaskar will exercise all powers concerning the IPL, ruled the Supreme Court.
The apex court bench headed by Justice AK Patnaik also said that except players and commentators, no other employee of India Cements or its subsidiary or associate companies will participate in any duties. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court had wanted BCCI president N. Srinivasan to resign from his position. Srinivasan's son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, who was a Chennai Super Kings team official, has been indicted for his involvement in betting.
Coming to the defence of Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the Supreme Court, the BCCI lawyer said that false allegations have been made against the cricketer in the context of an investigation into alleged corruption in the Indian Premier League. Dhoni has also been "wrongly vilified" by the media after Thursday's hearing, said BCCI representatives in the court on Friday.
In the court, Harish Salve, who is representing the petitioner, the Cricket Association of Bihar, said that during the investigation, Dhoni had lied about Meiyappan's role, describing him as "just a cricket enthusiast" though he is a key member of the team's management. But the BCCI's lawyers said today that Mr Dhoni did not make that statement.
The Supreme Court chose not to place any obstacles in Srinivasan's path to the ICC, it saying he was free to take over in July, when he is set to become the organisation's first chairman.
The board has listed the case for hearing again on 16 April, which also happens to be the opening day of the IPL. The interim order will stay in place until the case is decided by India's highest court.