What is wrong? What should be done?

BCCI, its negligence, stupid!

Though I do not pay much attention to BCCI scandal but today if you watch TV, you cannot avoid hearing about it. The reason I do not worry about the scandal is because we thrive on illegality and corruption.

First, what surprised me the most was that none of the board members raised their voice against N Srinivasan nor did they come out with a legal reason for forcing N Srinivasan to resign. Now I am surprised that Shri Arun Jaitley did not speak up for two reasons. One as a politician, he keeps asking for the resignation of politicians for corruption and quotes law under which they could be held accountable. But in the case of BCCI’s IPL scandal, he has kept quiet. Two, he is a well known lawyer. Now if Mr Jaitley cannot find a legal reason to throw Mr Srinivasan out of BCCI, I will give it a shot. I think Mr Srinivasan and CSK are in big trouble legally provided some one takes legal action. Let me explain.

As head of the BCCI, Mr Srinivasan invites the public to buy tickets to watch the IPL matches. It is implied that cricket matches are not fixed and that they competitively played and the best team wins. Cricket fans buy tickets to watch a fair and not a fixed game. It is Mr N Srinivasan’s responsibility as head of BCCI to take all steps to see that he delivers what he promises. Now we are all reasonable people and do understand that Mr Srinivasan is not God and that he cannot guarantee 100% fair play. It is because of this that the law has the concept of “reasonable care.” We just expect Mr N Srinivasan to take “reasonable care.”

I think Mr N Srinivasan has not taken “reasonable care” and as has been “negligent” and thus liable. Mr Srinivasan has been negligent of 3 counts. First, even though match fixing scandals have been happening on a regular basis, he did not take reasonable steps to prevent it from happening in IPL. BCCI could have banned mobile phones in locker rooms during the match and not allowed outsiders in the locker room. They could have checked on background of players on a random basis to see if they were in contact with shady characters. Second, he created a conflict of interest situation by also buying a team. Because Srinivasan owns the team, no one in BCCI would have had the guts to question any illegal or improper activity of CSK. Third, the most deadly negligent act that he committed was installing his son-in-law Gurunath as the principal of Chennai Super Kings. Why so? Very simple. It seems that it is known fact that Gurunath was into sports gambling since childhood. Now you put him in a position that Srinivasan placed Guru, disaster was waiting to happen and it did happen.

Even BCCI and the board members can be held liable. They have been negligent on the first two counts mentioned above. Based on the above logic, anyone who has bought an IPL ticket can sue not only Srinivasan but also BCCI and its board members for refund of ticket money.

To take this a step further, shareholders of India Cements can also sue N Srinivasan for negligence as he appointed Gurunath as the Principal of the CSK which is owned by Srinivasan.

I believe there is big money involved in BCCI and that is why Srinivasan dies not want to resign. He gets more power and clout from as President of BCCI than as the owner of India Cements. I believe what has happened should be good for cricket because the fight for control of BCCI is going to get murky and lot of irregularities by BCCI and cricket boards may fall out of the closet.

I hope somebody takes legal action based on the above legal grounds.

Avinash Narula

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