New Delhi – Supreme Court judges could order the powerful head of India's cricket board to quit after he defied their calls to stand down voluntarily during a probe into illegal betting.
Lawyers for N. Srinivasan, president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), are expected to argue at a hearing that the apex court has no right to order his dismissal despite growing pressure for him to resign.
A vice-president of the board has already described Srinivasan's position as “untenable” while many commentators say it can only be a matter of time before he is forced from office.
In a hearing on Tuesday, the head of a panel of judges slammed Srinivasan's “nauseating” refusal to resign while allegations of illegal betting and spot-fixing involving his son-in-law are investigated.
Justice A.K. Patnaik said there could be “no fair investigation” into the betting scandal while Srinivasan remained at the helm of the board.
“If you don't step down, then we will pass an order,” added Patnaik.
The bench is looking at a damning report that it commissioned last year into wrongdoing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) following a betting and spot-fixing scandal that rocked the Twenty20 tournament.
Released in February, the report concluded that Srinivasan's son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan could be guilty of illegal betting on IPL games.
Srinivasan is regarded as the most powerful man in world cricket and is due to take over in July as head of the International Cricket Council.
India is the most powerful country in world cricket due to its vast television audience, which enables the board to generate almost 70 percent of the game's revenues. – Sapa-AFP