N Srinivasan: Don't link chargesheet on India Cements to cricket

N Srinivasan (right) was named as accused in CBI’s chargesheet involving India Cements and YSR Congress party chief YS Jaganmohan Reddy © IANS

New Delhi: Sep 10, 2013

By Abhishek Roy

The Indian cricket board’s self-exiled president, N Srinivasan on Tuesday said that his company India Cements being chargesheeted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in a corruption case involving YSR Congress party chief YS Jaganmohan Reddy has nothing to do with his cricket and it is unfair to link the two.

“Don’t mix the business chargesheet with my cricket,” was Srinivasan’s terse reply when asked whether Tuesday’s development will in any way affect his return to head the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and getting a third year in office.

Srinivasan insisted that India Cements has done nothing wrong and will prove it in a court of law.

“India Cements has done nothing wrong. We will prove it in the court of law,” Srinivasan told IANS on the phone from Chennai.

Srinivasan had stepped aside as the BCCI president in the wake of a betting scandal in the sixth edition of Indian Premier League (IPL).

Asked whether his return as the BCCI chief is in any doubt, Srinivasan said: “Don’t mix the two things, it will be unfair to do that. I don’t want to comment much on that [his status in BCCI].”

In the chargesheet relating to India Cements, CBI named Srinivasan, its managing director, as accused number three.

But a top official in India Cements said on the condition of anonymity that the company was wrongly targetted by the media since it is being headed by Srinivasan.

“Why only India Cements name is being highlighted. There are several other cement companies, who have also been chargesheeted in the case. We feel India Cements is being wrongly targeted,” the official said.

The CBI in its chargesheet stated that India Cements allegedly invested Rs.140 crore in Jagan’s businesses in return for the benefits it received from the Andhra Pradesh government then headed by Jagan’s father, Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, who was killed in a helicopter crash in 2009.

Srinivasan’s company owns successful IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings whose team principal Gurunath Meiyappan, also his son-in-law, is currently out on bail in the IPL betting scandal. Srinivasan stepped aside after Meiyappan was arrested by Mumbai police.

Jagan, as the MP from Kadapa is popularly known, figures as accused number one in all three charge-sheets while his financial advisor Vijay Sai Reddy is the number two accused.

The investments by Srinivasan were made in Bharati Cements and Jagati Publications, owned by Jagan, in return for the benefits India Cements received in the form of additional water allocation for its units in Andhra Pradesh.

Jagan, who is in jail since last May, is facing charges of amassing wealth through quid pro quo deals when his father was chief minister from 2004 to 2009.