SC stays Madras HC order on BCCI office bearers

NEW DELHI: The Indian cricket board can function as usual as the Supreme Court today stayed a Madras High Court order restraining office-bearers from taking over the board.

But the apex board also kept cricket board's past chief Jagmohan Dalmiya on the back foot by restraining him from becoming the board's patron-in-chief.

A bench, comprising Justices N Santosh Hegde and SB Sinha, felt that prima facie the high court did not act properly by passing the order restraining the newly elected board while entertaining a review petition filed by Netaji Cricket Club (NCC), the petitioner before the high court, agencies reported today.

The Bench noticed skeletons tumbling out of the cupboards as NCC pointed out serious irregularities in the recent elections of the Board and observed that "if we are satisfied, we may order holding of fresh elections for the board."

After hearing the Board of Control for Cricket in India, Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA), NCC and DC Agashe, representing the Maharashtra Cricket Association, the bench fixed 26 October for final hearing on the petitions and passed an interim direction staying the Madras High Court order.

Taking into account alleged irregularities in the election of Ranbir Singh Mahendra as the board president and the apprehension that Dalmiya would become patron-in-chief of the board, the Bench said that "in the meanwhile, Dalmiya is restrained from getting elected/appointed as the patron-in-chief."

The BCCI had filed a Special Leave Petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court on Saturday challenging a Madras HC order restraining newly-elected board officials from functioning and the appointment of Supreme Court judge S Mohan as its interim administrator.

The BCCI in its SLP had contended that if the high court order was implemented, it would bring Indian cricket to a standstill as even selection of the Indian team for the India-Australia series would not be possible.

Meanwhile, Justice Mohan filed a report today in the Madras High Court regarding the "treatment meted out to him" when he had gone to the BCCI office in Mumbai to take charge on Saturday. It may be recalled that when Justice Mohan reached the office on Saturday, he was greeted by a locked door.

"The matter is confidential. But I have filed a factual report," the Press Trust of India filed from Chennai quoted Justice Mohan as saying.

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