The Supreme Court on Friday cleared decks for the Indian cricket board secretary N Srinivasan taking over as its president on September 19 and 20 during the AGM. A bench comprising Justice Aftab Alam and Justice RM Lodha turned down a plea by AC Muthiah, former president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), seeking to restrain Srinivasan from taking over the top post till it was decided whether an Indian Premier League (IPL) team owner could be allowed to become an office bearer of the Board.Though the court did not grant any interim relief to Muthiah, it made it clear that the appointment of Srinivasan would be subject to the final decision on the petition moved by the former BCCI president.Muthiah, who had challenged a BCCI rule permitting an IPL team owner to become an office bearer of the Board before the Madras High Court, had approached the Supreme Court after the high court refused to stay the operation of the rule till a final decision on his petition.With his appeal yet to be decided, Muthiah had filed an application before the apex court seeking a restraint order against Srinivasan taking over as president. He pointed out that a two-judge bench of the apex court had on April 28 delivered a split verdict in the matter.Muthiah argued that it would not be appropriate to allow current Board secretary Srinivasan, who owns the Chennai Super Kings IPL team, to hold on to BCCI posts till his appeal was decided.advertisementCiting a conflict of interest, Muthiah has been contending that BCCI office bearers could not be allowed to have commercial interests in the IPL. A bench comprising Justice JM Panchal and Justice Gyan Sudha Misra that heard the matter earlier gave a split verdict, prolonging a decision on Muthiah’s appeal. The matter, therefore, had to be referred to another bench.While Justice Panchal refused to stay the BCCI rule allowing its office bearers to own IPL teams, Justice Misra was of the view that a person owning and operating an IPL team could not be allowed to hold any position in the BCCI. Muthiah had challenged an amendment in the BCCI rules permitting an administrator to have direct or indirect commercial interests in matches or events like the IPL or Champions League T20.The amendment was made after Muthiah questioned acquisition of stakes in Chennai Super Kings team by BCCI secretary Srinivasan citing conflict of interest. Srinivasan was the managing director of India Cements Ltd which had bid successfully for the team.Refusing interim relief to Muthiah, the high court had held that BCCI was like a private club and no outsider could question the regulations of the society.