NEW DELHI - India's Supreme Court Tuesday urged the powerful head of the country's cricket board to stand down while an investigation is conducted into illegal betting, saying his refusal to quit so far was "nauseating".
A two-judge panel warned it could order N. Srinivasan, who is regarded as the most powerful man in world cricket, to stand down unless he did so voluntarily as his continued presence in his post was hampering the investigation which involves his son-in-law.
"Unless the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) president stands down, there can be no fair investigation. It's nauseating," Justice A.K. Patnaik told the court in New Delhi.
"If you don't step down, then we will pass an order," he added.
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 popular Twenty20 tournament.
The report, released in February, concluded that Srinivasan's son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan could be guilty of illegal betting on IPL games, in a major blow to Srinivasan who is set to take over as head of the International Cricket Council in July.
Meiyappan was the team principal of Chennai Super Kings, an IPL franchise owned by Srinivasan's India Cements company and captained by national skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
The report, by a panel headed by retired judge Mukul Mudgal, suggested that Meiyappan may have passed on team information to outsiders for illegal betting, but did not specify what information or to whom.
"There are no definite findings by the Mudgal committee but the allegations are of a very serious nature," Patnaik told the court.
The judge asked the BCCI's lawyers to go away and read the report and return on Thursday when the case will continue.