Supreme Court refuses to intervene in BCCI polls plea

MUMBAI: Is it the end of the road for warring factions in the Indian cricket board using the courts to delay any development detrimental to their interests?

The Supreme Court on Friday declined to entertain a petition by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) against an order of former Chief Election Commissioner TS Krishnamurthy, appointed as an observer for the BCCI elections scheduled for 29 and 30 November.

According to Krishnamurthy's ruling, "the Chairman at the AGM during the course of the elections shall have the right to exercise his casting vote if there is a tie in the number of votes polled in respect of any of the office bearer's posts. "The Chairman shall not have any other special voting rights except the right to vote as a member if he is duly authorised to vote by the association which he represents."

Krishnamurthy's ruling on the casting vote is particularly pertinent if one considers that the Indian cricket board supremo Jagmohan Dalmiya had last year used three votes to pip the wiley Maharashtra political strongman Sharad Pawar in a close contest.

"Let the election take place. You can challenge the election. If we find anything wrong, we will set it aside," the Press Truct of India quoted a Bench headed by Justice BP Singh as saying today. The Bench said it was not inclined to interfere with the election at this stage. The nominations for the BCCI election are to be filed on 27 November.

The decision will of course please the Pawar camp, among whom is the Rajasthan Cricket Association president Lalit Modi. A sworn enemy of the present BCCI set up, Modi has an active interest in the India cricket telecast rights issue. The implications of Pawar's group getting control of the richest cricket board in the world will have a critical bearing on how the telecast rights will be given out.

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