N Srinivasan expected to attend BCCI Working Committee meeting on Sunday

The SC issued notices to the BCCI and N Srinivasan on a plea challenging the Bombay HC order refusing to appoint a fresh committee to probe the IPL 2013 spot-fixing controversy © PTI

Kolkata: Aug 31, 2013

The Supreme Court might have refused to grant him relief but a defiant N Srinivasan is expected to attempt a comeback as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President after being forced to step aside, when the officials gather for the final Working Committee meeting before next month’s Annual General Meeting, in Kolkata on Sunday.

Srinivasan was dealt a major setback when the SC deferred the hearing on his petition, challenging the Bombay High Court’s order which declared the BCCI probe panel to investigate the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2013 spot-fixing scandal as “illegal and unconstitutional”.

The hearing will now be conducted on September 11 and notices have been sent to Srinivasan and the BCCI on the matter.

Given the circumstances, it remains to be seen whether Srinivasan opts to remain in hibernation or chair Sunday’s meeting to seek a third term in the AGM scheduled next month.

“I’ve no idea about it. Please don’t ask me anything about the meeting, these are tricky and sensitive issues. You’ll come to know after the meeting on Sunday,” BCCI’s interim chief Jagmohan Dalmiya said on Saturday.

Dalmiya, however, added that the announcement of the AGM’s date would be a key issue for discussion in Sunday’s meeting.

There was more bad news for Srinivasan and the BCCI as the apex court admitted a Cricket Association of Bihar petition seeking a fresh panel to enquire the IPL spot-fixing scandal, in which the BCCI chief’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan was also implicated.

With no headway in sight, it remains to be seen whether the AGM would be held before September 30.

“It’s a big setback for Srinivasan as the Supreme Court has issued notice in the name of Srinivasan and others,” a BCCI official said.

There are, however, indications that Srinivasan would turn up on Sunday in a desperate bid to make a comeback as his presence or chairing the meeting would not technically be considered illegal.

The fact that only the president has the authority to sign the Board’s papers — with no provision for an interim head in the BCCI constitution — it makes it necessary for Srinivasan’s participation in the meeting.

Srinivasan, in fact, would have returned to the helm in the last working committee itself on August 2. But the meeting was cancelled due to a technical anomaly — the word emergent was not mentioned in the circular sent to its members — as Dalmiya continued to remain in-charge for a second time.

Among other issues to be discussed at Sunday’s meeting is the Board’s annual report and balance sheet which would be tabled.

Discussions to distribute the surplus of Rs 350 crore earned in the previous fiscal may also take place. The issue of a controversial land deal of the National Cricket Academy (NCA) is also likely to come up for discussion.

The NCA had sought to acquire about 50 acres of land near Nandi Hills through the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB).

The BCCI had paid close to RS 50 crore for the acquisition but following a number of PILs, the Karnataka High Court in June declared the deal illegal.

There was a fresh twist to the matter after former Services pacer Ajay Jha, who served as chief administrative officer at the NCA, died this week following a heart attack.

The retired Indian Air Force officer was removed from the NCA following allegations of his involvement in the Rs 50 crore deal.