Supreme Court calls for India cricket boss to step down
Indian cricket board chief Narayanaswami Srinivasan gets into his car at the premises of the corporate office of India Cements, a company headed by him in Chennai, India, Tuesday, March 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Arun Sankar K)
Nirmala George, The Associated Press
Published Tuesday, March 25, 2014 8:12AM EDT
NEW DELHI -- The Supreme Court of India has told Indian cricket board chief Narayanaswami Srinivasan to step down from his post or be forced to leave to ensure a fair investigation into charges of match-fixing in the Indian Premier League.
Srinivasan's son-in-law, Gurunath Meiyappan, was indicted last month on charges of betting and passing on information to illegal bookmakers by a committee investigating match-fixing in the IPL.
Supreme Court Justice A. K. Patnaik on Tuesday said if Srinivasan does not step down voluntarily from the Board of Control for Cricket in India, the court will order his removal.
"Why is Srinivasan sticking to his chair? If you don't step down, then we will pass an order," Patnaik said.
The court will reconvene in two days.
Srinivasan told reporters that he did not want to comment on the court's decision.
As well as heading the BCCI, Srinivasan is chairman-designate of cricket world governing body the International Cricket Council.
The ICC also declined to comment on the latest development, saying it was an "internal matter" for the BCCI, adding the ICC cannot intervene in the issue.
The IPL fixing controversy erupted last year after several cricketers, including test paceman Shantakumaran Sreesanth, were arrested by Indian police for allegedly giving away a minimum number of runs in exchange for money from bookies.
Srinivasan's position on the BCCI has been considered untenable since a three-member committee headed by Justice Mukul Mudgal found Chennai Super Kings team principal Meiyappan guilty of being in touch with illegal bookmakers in its report forwarded to the Supreme Court.
The finding came after the Bombay High Court last year referred to the two-member BCCI panel that initially cleared Meiyappan of his charges as "illegal and unconstitutional."
Srinivasan said that Meiyappan was "just a cricket enthusiast" even though he was seen regularly at players' auctions and in the team dugout.
Meiyappan spent two weeks in jail last year before being granted bail.
Former cricketer Mohinder Amarnath said Srinivasan should step down in the interest of Indian cricket.
The "game was bigger than an individual," Amarnath, told reporters.
"As a lover of the game, he should step down. He should respect the law and should honour what the Supreme Court has suggested," said Amarnath, a member of the 1983 World Cup winning Indian team.