Uphaar case: SC assures AVUT of early open court hearing

uphaar tragedy
uphaar tragedy

New Delhi, The Supreme Court today assured the Association of Victims of Uphaar Tragedy (AVUT) that it will accord an early open court hearing of its plea seeking review of its 2015 verdict by which real estate barons Sushil and Gopal Ansal were required to serve two-year jail term if they failed to pay Rs 30 crore each.

A bench comprising Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justice U U Lalit said that it will take up the early hearing plea with Justice A R Dave, who is heading the bench hearing a similar plea by the CBI in the case.

The CJI assured the counsel, appearing for AVUT, that probably the review plea will be listed for hearing after the Holi vacation.

Earlier this year, a three-judge bench comprising justices A R Dave, Kurian Joseph and A K Goel had decided to hear the review petition filed by CBI and the AVUT in an open court.

59 cine-goers had died of asphyxia during the screening of Bollywood movie ‘Border’ in Uphaar theatre. The Ansals have already deposited Rs 30 crore each.

The review plea filed by AVUT, said, “The impugned orders are in gross violation of natural justice and have been passed without affording victims any effective, meaningful hearing.”

It said the apex court judgements “bestow an unwarranted leniency on convicts whose conviction in the most heinous of offences has been upheld by all courts including this court and sentences imposed on them have been substituted with fine without assigning any reason or basis.”

“The sentences of the convicts have been reduced to the period undergone without taking into account the gravity of their offence,” it said.

The CBI, in its review plea, had said the apex court did not give it time to put its views forth which has resulted in the “miscarriage of justice”.

“Due to the paucity of time on the day on which this case was heard, the prosecution could not adequately put across the reasons why this court should not substitute a monetary fine in place of a jail sentence.

“This petition also seeks to raise issue of an apparent error of law in the judgement and order of this court which has occasioned a grave miscarriage of justice,” the agency said in its plea.

The agency also said that the “callousness” of the Ansal brothers led to 59 people being trapped and suffocated to death in the theatre.

The association and the CBI had also filed application seeking open court hearing on the review pleas.

Every Institution Has to Evolve in Tune With Times: PM Modi

modiPrime Minister Narendra Modi today said that every institution has to evolve in tune with the times, a statement that was seen as a veiled reference to continuance of the collegium system by the Supreme Court which had struck down the judicial appointments law.

He also suggested that rendering free legal aid to poor should be a criterion in selection of judges and that dedication and commitment of the administration in ensuring justice may open up “new ways”.

“No institution can remain static. Changes are inevitable in tune with the times. There is a need to change the way we think–old things are best and that is why we will not lay our hands on them is not the way,” he said. Though the Prime Minister did not make any reference to the striking down of the NJAC Act by the Supreme Court, his remarks at a judicial forum were seen as a veiled reference to that subject. He said the concept of Lok Adalat has been successful. But if we say there has been fulfilment, then there will be stagnation.

The Prime Minister was addressing a gathering of top judges, law officers and legal experts at the foundation day celebration of National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) here with Justice T S Thakur, who is set to become the next Chief Justice, on the dais along with a few other judges.

Heaping praise on NALSA for extending free legal services to millions of people, Modi said “in every system, the boundary should expand consistently, its characteristics should keep changing and power should keep growing.” Complimenting the free grievance redressal mechanism set up by the judiciary, Modi called it a “big thing” as nearly 8.5 crore pre-litigation and pending cases were solved by the Lok Adalats in last two decades and said it showed that how good the outcome could be if there was “out of box” thinking.

“It is a big thing. There is a strength of the system. If the government is also dedicated to justice, is alert towards it, then a way can be found,” he said, while emphasising the need to ensure justice to the poor and the downtrodden. Referring to new initiatives by the legal body, Modi said “if administration is dedicated to ensure justice, committed to justice, then a way could be found.”

He further said “I was telling Justice Thakur with diffidence, when there is recruitment (of judges) can we ask them how much time you had devoted for providing legal aid to poor.” Calling for research by Law universities on Lok Adalats, Modi said little changes in the system and rules may benefit people. “We can lower the burden on the judiciary and we can stress on ensuring quality of justice which is our intention. That is why there is a need for collective effort.” Stressing that ensuring justice to poor was very important for India’s overall development, Modi added “justice for all” to his slogan of “Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas (Together with all, Development for all).”

“I believe in ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’ and with that there must be ‘Sabka Nyay’,” he said. Talking about how successful government’s Jan Dhan Yojna has been, Modi said “we will have to assimilate everyone. We will have to bind everybody. We will have to do something for everybody and when you take this kind of initiative, then I admit it is hugely beneficial.” On government’s efforts to ensure welfare of all sections, Modi referred to transgenders and said there was a need for systemic changes.

“Transgenders. Can you imagine how much apathy there has been towards them. The Almighty has given them what he had to give. We will have to develop system. We will have to bring changes to legal system. Will have to bring changes to the rules. Government will have to change their points of view. We will have to do things together,” he said. On his suggestion of including the criterion of time spent by judges for free legal aid to the poor for judicial appointment, Modi said if such a provision was made, then it will help develop sense of accountability and sensibility towards the poor.

“Can we ask them how much time you spent for ensuring free legal aid to poor,” Modi said, noting making standards like keeping 10 marks for interview and asking such question will help ensure justice to the poor. At the same time, he added, “I am saying these things but I do not know the nitty gritties.”

Referring to Justice Thakur’s elaboration on various schemes being implemented by NALSA, the Prime Minister lauded his effort and said these aspects of the judiciary is not known to the common people. Modi also complimented Justice Thakur for his commitment to the cause of justice.

“I do not know Justice Thakur much. I have got opportunity to talk to him because of this even. But I am surprised to see his involvement on the subject (to ensure justice to poor). He was talking about the issue like on a mission mode. “I think there will be automatic solutions to the problems if we have such leadership both in the central and state level.”

The Prime Minister said a huge section of people do not have the courage to come to courts but their problems are being looked after by the Lok Adalats. In the course of his address, Modi, listing initiative by his government, said after becoming Prime Minister, he found out that a whopping Rs 27,000 crore was lying unclaimed in PF accounts of workers and called the previous dispensation was “insensitive”.

The Prime Minister said he initiated the process to return the money to the beneficiaries. “The government was insensitive. I am sorry to say. We made a system to address the issue. I am committed to give them their dues,” he said.

Justice T S Thakur to be next Chief Justice of India

Justice T S Thakur to be next Chief Justice of India
Justice T S Thakur to be next Chief Justice of India

Justice TS Thakur would succeed Justice HL Dattu as the next Chief Justice of India.

Justice Thakur, the senior-most judge of the apex court, will take over as the CJI after Justice Dattu retires on December 2.

His name was recommended to the government by Justice Dattu on Monday, official sources said.

After the law ministry clears the file of Justice Thakur’s appointment, it would be sent to the Prime Minister’s Office. His Warrant of Appointment will be issued when the President clears it.

Justice Thakur, who would be the 43rd Chief Justice of India, was born on January 4, 1952 and enrolled as a Pleader in October 1972. He began practising in the Jammu and Kashmir High Court and dealt with all types of matters, including civil, criminal, tax and Constitutional and service cases.

He then joined the chamber of his father DD Thakur, an eminent advocate who became a judge of Jammu and Kashmir High Court and later a union minister.

Justice Thakur, who was elevated as a judge of the Supreme Court and assumed charge on November 17, 2009, would have a tenure of little over one year. He would retire as Chief Justice on January 4, 2017.

63-year-old Justice Thakur headed the bench which had delivered the verdict in the Indian Premier League spot-fixing and betting scandal in January this year.

The probe in the Saradha chit fund scam case is also being monitored by a Supreme Court bench headed by him. He is also hearing the multi-crore rupee National Rural Health Mission scam, in which former Uttar Pradesh minister Babu Singh Kushwaha is also an accused besides other politicians and bureaucrat.

Justice Thakur was designated as a senior advocate in 1990. On February 16, 1994, he was appointed as an additional judge of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court and transferred as a judge of the Karnataka High Court in March, 1994.

He was appointed as a permanent judge in September 1995 and transferred to Delhi High Court in July 2004.

Justice Thakur was appointed as acting Chief Justice of Delhi High Court on April 9, 2008 and on August 11, 2008, he took over as Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

( Source – PTI )

Apex court turns an auction room

Apex court turns an auction room
Apex court turns an auction room

The Supreme Court today virtually turned an auction room when two real estate firms hiked their bids for the purchase of Sahara Group’s 140-acre land in Gorakhpur with both the parties ready to fork out Rs.150 crore.

A competitive bidding took place before a Bench headed by Justice T S Thakur during the hearing on the issue related to arranging the money for the release of beleaguered group’s chief Subrata Roy, who has been in jail for more than a year.

The bidding started when the lawyer of Samriddhi developers agreed to match the Rs.110 crore offer made by Gorakhpur Real Estate Developers Private Limited.

Then Gorakhpur raised it to Rs. 115 crore and the judges sought the rival’s response.

Senior Advocate Paras Kuhat, appearing for Samriddhi, took instructions from on of the partners present in the court, and jacked the bid to Rs.125 crore. Then Gorakhpur took it upto Rs. 140 crore, added Rs. 5 crore more and then finally settled at Rs.150 crore. This was matched by Gorakhpur, who was ready to fork out Rs.150 crore.

At this the bench said both the parties have to show their bonafides by depositing 25 per cent of the amount by July 31 in the SEBI-Sahara account and rest of the money has to be arranged in three equal instalments by October 31.

The Gorakhpur Real Estate company had filed an application objecting the sale of property at Rs 64 crore to Samriddhi Developers and had offered Rs 110 crore.

The Bench, also comprising Justices A R Dave and A K Sikri, said failure of any of them to meet the deadline would result in forfeiture of the amount of 25 per cent deposited by them.

The money generated from the sale of Gorakhpur property would be added to the amount already deposited by the Sahara Group in the SEBI-Sahara account and go towards securing Roy’s release.

The bench posted the matter for hearing on August 3 and said it will decide the future course of action.

Gorakhpur Real Estate Developers Private Limited complied with the July 7 order and deposited Rs 11 crore with the Supreme Court Registry to establish its bonafides.

Samriddhi also placed a letter and a cheque from its bankers to show its bonafides.

Earlier, the court had declined to relax the conditions for interim bail of Roy like depositing Rs 5000 crore in cash and a bank guarantee of equal amount and tough terms including payment of the entire Rs 36,000 crore in 18 months.

Sahara’s counsel Kapil Sibal today reiterated that no business group in the world could pay Rs 36,000 crore and the banks are also saying that how can there be a bank guarantee when it is for sure that there will be a default.

He had during the last hearing said that the group was unable to secure the bank guarantee as the financial institution which had agreed to furnish it has backed out when SEBI insisted on fixation of the “trigger point” for encashing it.

The company, he said today, will file a petition in this regard.

The court also allowed the plea of Sahara Group that the SEBI should place before the its the bank statement of SEBI-Sahara account on the amount deposited and the investment made by the market regulator.

The court had also asked the 65-year-old Roy, who has been in Tihar jail since March 4, 2014, to pay Rs 36,000 crore to the SEBI within 18 months and in nine instalments from the date of release.

SC gives Sahara 18 months to pay up Rs.36,000 crore

SC gives Sahara 18 months to pay up Rs.36,000 crore
SC gives Sahara 18 months to pay up Rs.36,000 crore

While approving the manner in which Sahara would furnish its bank guarantee, the Supreme Court on Friday directed that the group will have to pay the remaining liability it owes to the market regulator, Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), within 18 months from the time its chief Subrata Roy is released.

Accepting the format of the bank guarantee brings Sahara a step closer to paying Roy’s bail.
Roy and two Sahara directors, in judicial custody since 4 March, need to deposit Rs.10,000 crore, half in cash and the rest in a bank guarantee.
A bench of justices T.S.Thakur, Anil R. Dave and A. K. Sikri enumerated conditions for the payment of the remaining liability of Rs.36,000 crore by Sahara within 18 months in nine instalments.
The first instalment has to be paid within two months of Roy’s release.
The court said that Roy would have to go back to jail if Sahara failed to pay any three instalments. Further, the Rs.5,000 crore bank guarantee would be liable to be encashed by Sebi if Sahara failed to pay any two instalments.
The court also asked the three Sahara officials to deposit their passports and seek the court’s permission before leaving the country.
The group can seek the court’s permission to sell any of its properties frozen by the court earlier.
While Roy’s release from Tihar jail is one of the primary focus of these hearings at present, the court has time and again emphasized that Sahara has to make payments, apart from the Rs.10,000 crore deposit.
Lawyer Kapil Sibal had in May sought the conditional release of Roy for six weeks in order to draw up a scheme for future payments.
In May, Sebi had told the court that Sahara has to refund nearly Rs.39,000 crore to it. Sahara has consistently disputed this sum. Sahara claims that it has refunded Rs.17,000 crore to about 30 million depositors directly.
Sahara has already deposited Rs.3,827 crore in cash with the Sebi Sahara Refund Account.
On 23 March, the apex court gave Sahara three months to raise Rs.10,000 crore, failing which it would arrange for selling off Sahara’s assets.
Sahara has filed a defamation case in a Patna court against Mint’s editor and some reporters over the newspaper’s coverage of the company’s dispute with Sebi. Mint is contesting the case.

‘If govts does its duties, PILs won’t be needed’

If governments discharge their duties responsibly, there would not be any need of public interest litigations, a senior judge of the Supreme Court has said.

Justice T S Thakur of the apex court, said this while delivering a lecture here, and held “lacunae in system” responsible for piling cases in the courts.

He was addressing a legal fraternity at the ‘Second Marudhar Mridul Memorial Lecture’ last night on the topic ‘Widening Horizons of Public Interest litigation’.

“If the governments discharge their duties responsibly, there would not be any need of PILs,” Thakur said.

“If so happens, the judiciary would not have any need to intervene in the functioning of the governments by way of PILs or any other means”, he said.

While throwing light on the PILs in Indian judicial system, he also said that the “PILs strengthen the democracy”.

“Earlier, a person could file a petition for his or her personal rights but the issues pertaining to public interest could now be raised through PIL”, he said, while reiterating the need in the judiciary to hear them (PILs) with sensitivity.

Endorsing Thakur’s view point, chief justice of Rajasthan high court Sunil Ambwani said that PILs have important role to play, specially in social and environmental security, and stressed on the need of a litigant to be fully prepared with substantial material, before filing a PIL.

Ambwani said that the courts play their role but it is the governments, which has to “finally act”.

“We can issue orders, directions or guidelines but the actual work would have to be done by the government itself so the people do not have to come to the court against the government”, he said.

The Rajasthan high court Chief Justice also said that PILs were “the result of faulty systems”, following which, affected persons seek their refuge in the courts, in the form of such litigations.

Sahara moves SC for extension of facilities to Roy in jail

Court on Tuesday expressed concern over how Sahara Group would raise money to secure its chief Subrata Roy’s release, as the group sought extension of facilities inside Tihar jail premises by four to six weeks to enable him negotiate deals with prospective buyers.

The apex court expressed concern about the payment of money to be made by Roy to secure his release from jail. “You are struggling to pay Rs 10,000 crore. How will you pay Rs 30,000 crore after coming out,” the bench asked.

A bench headed by Justice T S Thakur also asked the counsel for Sahara group to file an appropriate application in regard to its request.

Earlier in a new turn of events in the case, RBI had moved the apex court seeking to implead itself as a party in the company’s tussle with SEBI and sought to stop one of its firms from disposing off assets for securing Roy’s release.

In an application, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) urged the apex court to restrain Sahara India Financial Corporation Ltd (SIFCL) from utilising any of its assets, including securities, for paying dues to SEBI on the ground that SIFCL is Residuary Non—Banking Financial Firm and fell under its (RBI) regulatory control.

Prior to this, the Sahara group had informed the apex court that the proposed transactions for a loan of around US dollar 1,050 million from abroad for raising Rs 10,000 crore to ensure Roy’s release from jail had failed.

The apex court, on January 9, had allowed Sahara Group to go ahead with its proposed transactions with some conditions including the approval of RBI for the transfer to India of the funds raised in the US to meet the requirement set for release of Roy, who is lodged in Tihar jail since March 4 last year for non—refund of over Rs 20,000 crore with interest to depositors.

Merit alone can be ground of admission in medical PG courses: SC

pg medicalMerit alone can be the basis of admission in Medical PG courses among candidates of a given category, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday.

The court also set aside section 5(4) of the Kerala Medical Officers’ Admission to Postgraduate Courses under Service Quota Act, 2008 which provided that senior candidates, serving the state government, will be given admission in PG course ahead of junior counterparts despite scoring less in the common entrance examination.

Seniors will have to obtain the minimum eligibility bench-mark in that test in terms of the regulations framed by the Medical Council of India, the provision said.

Referring to various case laws, a bench of justices T S Thakur and R Banumathi said “it is, in the light of the pronouncements, futile to argue that the impugned legislation can hold the field even when it is in clear breach of the Medical Council of India’s Regulations.”

“A meritorious in-service candidate cannot be denied admission only because he has an eligible senior above him though lower in merit. It is now fairly well settled that merit and merit alone can be the basis of admission among candidates belonging to any given category.

“In service, candidates belong to one category. Their inter-se merit cannot be overlooked only to promote seniority which has no place in the scheme of MCI Regulations. That does not mean that merit based admissions to in-service candidates cannot take into account the service rendered by such candidates in rural areas,” the court said in its 27-page verdict.

The high court had directed that selection of in-service medical officers for post-graduate medical education under the Act shall be made “strictly on the basis of inter se seniority of the candidates who have taken the common entrance test for post-graduate medical education and have obtained the minimum eligibility bench mark in that test in terms of the Regulations framed by the MCI.”

Referring to MCI regulations, the apex court said it had in the past held that candidates, who are in government services, can be treated as a “separate channel for admission to post-graduate course within that category” but the admission can be granted “only on the basis of merit”.

SC nod to Sahara to proceed with foreign loan transactions

The Supreme Court on Friday allowed Sahara Group to go ahead with its proposed transactions for a loan of around US dollar 1,050 million from abroad for raising Rs 10,000 crores to ensure release of Subrata Roy from jail.

However, the apex court put conditions including the approval of RBI for the transfer to India the funds raised in the US to meet the requirement set for release of Roy, who is lodged in Tihar jail for over nine months for non-refund of over Rs 20,000 crore with interest to depositors.

The apex court, which had asked 65-year-old Roy to pay Rs 10,000 crore to get bail, out of which Rs 5,000 crore should be paid in cash and rest in bank guarantee, today extended its August 1 order for conference facility for him in Tihar jail to deal with the nitty-gritty of transaction till February 20.

A Bench headed by Justice T S Thakur passed the order after market regulator SEBI and senior advocate Shekhar Naphade, who is assisting the court as an amicus curiae, agreed with the plea of Sahara that “there was no risk for the court in allowing the transaction for the loan”.

“In the circumstances and keeping in view the submissions of counsel for SEBI and amicus curiae and other safeguards, there is no reason why we do not allow the prayers,” the bench, also comprising Justices A R Dave and A K Sikri, said while making it clear that permission for transaction of loans would be subject to certain conditions.

The bench said Sahara will move the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) at appropriate level or before its competent authority and make representation for suitable clarification for bringing the amount arranged in the US and deposit it in the account of Aamby Valley Ltd, Mauritius, a fully owned subsidiary of Sahara India’s Aamby Valley Ltd.

Further, the bench said the entire loan amount generated from the US shall be deposited with Aamby Valley Ltd, Mauritius and shall not be utilised or transferred by the Indian subsidiary, for any other purpose except for being deposited with SEBI in the SEBI-Sahara refund account.

Thirdly, the bench made it clear that Sahara will not be free to claim any equity on the amount raised as loan from overseas and deposited with Aamby Valley Ltd, Mauritius, for the purpose of bailing out Roy from jail.

Out of the amount of 1050 million USD, Sahara has been allowed to raise a junior loan of 650 million USD and 400 million USD in investment from Mirage Capital Llc.

The submissions in this regard was made by Sahara’s counsel S Ganesh, Rajiv Dhavan and Keshav Mohan. They had submitted that Sahara be allowed for taking over of the Bank of China loan on foreign Hotels by another creditor.

Roy was sent to jail on March 4 last year along with two other directors Ashok Roy Choudhary and Ravi Shankar Dubey.

The court during the last hearing had clarified that legal impediments in the transfer of money from escrow account of foreign bank agent requires special permission by competent authority under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).

The issue had cropped up after amicus curiae had submitted that the legal requirement for external commercial borrowing requires clearance under FEMA which has not been complied with by the Sahara Group.

Sahara had said there was no requirement of RBI approval under the FEMA regulations in the concerned transaction.

The court was hearing the issue of Sahara seeking its nod for raising ‘junior loan’ of USD 650 million (approx. Rs 3,600 crore) as a part of the scheme to overcome the liability with Bank of China which had lent money to it in purchasing stakes in three overseas hotels, Dream Downtown and The Plaza in New York and Grosvenor House in London.

Sahara had also informed the bench that escrow account has been shifted to Bank of America.

Sahara on December 17 last had handed over to SEBI cheques amounting to Rs 1,900 crores relating to sale of domestic properties.

The apex court on December 2 had permitted the Sahara Group to proceed with the sale of four domestic properties, which is likely to fetch Rs 2,710 crore, in its bid to raise Rs 10,000 crore for the release of Roy.

The court had allowed the group to sell properties in Jodhpur, Pune, Chauma in Gurgaon and Vasai in Mumbai after it was satisfied that the transactions were in accordance with its June 4 order.

The bench was told that there are some problem in selling the Pune property which would likely to fetch Rs 550 crore.

Earlier the court was told that the transactions for these properties would be completed by May 2015 and in the meantime, the purchasers would deposit post-dated cheques in the name of SEBI-Sahara refund account with undertakings that those would be honoured on due dates.

Out of the list of nine domestic properties, Sahara has already sold its Ahmedabad property and has raised Rs 411.82 crores which has gone into the account of SEBI.

Sahara, which earlier had raised Rs 3,117 crore and deposited with SEBI, has told the court that out of nine domestic assets it has now sold an Ahmedabad property and raised Rs 411.82 crores which has also gone into account of the market regulator.

Earlier, SEBI had moved the court seeking its direction to Sahara group to give a time schedule for payment of Rs 47,000 crore to it.

IPL Scam Hearing: Supreme Court Hints at High-Powered Panel to Decide on Punishment

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday hinted that a high-powered committee could be set up to decide on the punishment for those who breached the IPL code of conduct, including Gurunath Meiyappan, the son-in-law of BCCI president-in-exile N. Srinivasan.

The committee, that could include retired judges, will also look into whether Srinivasan’s role in the alleged betting and spot-fixing scam in IPL 6 and if the role of the two requires punishment and the quantum.

The court also suggested various options including whether Srinivasan wanted to remain in BCCI or retain his team CSK in the IPL. Whether the committee should be external or should be a in-house committee of BCCI, the apex court observed.

The court said maintaining the “purity” of cricket was utmost important for it and hinted at setting up a high-powered committee to suggest measures for cleansing the game and ascertain if there was conflict of interest involving Srinivasan.

“That committeee has to be a high-powered committee and that committee will also look into the conflict of interest and its findings will be binding on BCCI,” a bench of justices T S Thakur and F M I Kalifulla observed while hinting that the committee would consist of retired judges.

The bench said somebody has to take a call on the punishment on the basis of the Mudgal Committee report but the question is who should be given the task.

“We are not very keen to decide on punishment. We want the system to be more effective,” the bench said adding “action has to follow immediately”.

Though Justice Mudgal committee has not found anything regarding the “cover-up” by Srinivasan for alleged involvement of his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan in betting and spot-fixing scandal, the bench said the high powered committee would have to examine various angles and the issue of conflict of interest would be one.

“Conflict of interest issue can be a course correction for future. If committee says there was a conflict of interest in Srinivasan’s function, it cannot say punish but suggest for amendments in the rule,” it said adding the committee would also look into the aspect of whether a person’s involvement in cricket administration while wearing multiple hats amounts to conflict of interest.

The bench said the committee would examine and analyse the aspect of quantum of punishment likely to be inflicted upon persons found guilty of breaching the code of conduct.

The apex court took exception to Srinivasan attending Tamil Nadu Cricket Association’s meeting in November after he had voluntarily stepped aside as cricket administrator, forcing him to admit that it was mistake on his part. The apex court said the most important thing for them was to ensure that there should be a purity of game and to look into the remedial aspect from the committee.

“BCCI creates in minds an illusion that the game is fair but the entire nation feels cheated. Is there any remedy as otherwise what will happen to the nation?” it said.

While senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Srinivasan, assured that Srinavasan would keep away from the day-to-day administration of the game on being elected after the upcoming election, the counsel for Cricket Association of Bihar Nalini Chidambraram submitted he should not be allowed to contest at all.

However, the bench said since Justice Mudgal Committee has not found anything against Srinivasan and wondered if it would be proper to keep him away from contesting election.

“In this background, is Srinivasan not eligible to contest election? On what juristic principle can we stop him at this stage?” the bench observed adding that addressing the issue of election at this stage would mean that there is an issue of disqualifying him from contesting the election.

Referring to the issue of conflict of interest, the bench said the high-powered committee can say it can be a basis for disqualification in future.

The bench disagreed with Chidambaram’s submission that BCCI’s administration was being run illegally as the term of office-bearers has ended in September and they are unauthorisedly running the affairs of BCCI as date of election has passed.

The hearing will resume on Wednesday and could possibly last for an entire day.