SC: BCCI chief Srinivasan must step down to ensure fair probe of IPL fixing
The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president N.Srinivasan to consider stepping down to facilitate a fair probe into the spot fixing scandal that hit the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) last year.
Setting the next date of the hearing of the case for Thursday (March 27), the apex court observed that a fair probe would only be possible if Srinivasan steps down from his post.
The Supreme Court made its observation on reports submitted to it by a probe panel headed by retired Justice Mukul Mudgal.
Justice Mukul Mudgal and his team - including L. Nageswara Rao and Nilay Dutta - had submitted their probe panel report on February 10. The Mudgal committee submitted two reports to the Supreme Court on February 10.
The first, signed by retired judge Justice Mudgal and Additional Solicitor General of India L. Nageswara Rao, asked the court to "decide the further course of action" because the probe committee did not have the power to impose punishment. Another supplementary report, signed by Nilay Dutta, a vice-president of Assam Cricket Association and a member of the IPL Governing Council, said: "This should not be misinterpreted to mean that the report suggests that the Hon'ble Court would decide on the punishment or penalty to be imposed."
Srinivasan's son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, who was a team official of Chennai Super Kings, has been indicted by a Supreme Court appointed inquiry committee of betting and sharing team information.
A two-member Supreme Court bench comprising Justice A.K. Patnaik and Justice Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla heard the details of the inquiry reports submitted by the Justice Mukul Mudgal committee on betting and match-fixing in Indian Premier League 2013.
The BCCI, which supports Dutta's comments, now wants the Supreme Court to let it start fresh disciplinary proceedings against Gurunath and Chennai Super Kings under the IPL franchise rules.A bench headed by Justice A.K. Patnaik had said on March 7 that the case would be heard on a non-miscellaneous day as the hearing would take time.
Justice Mudgal had said earlier that he was confident there will be no further delay in the case and a verdict would be passed on Tuesday.
A hard taskmaster, JUstice Mudgal had led his team in interrogating as many people they felt were relevant to their investigation. One of the most important interactions was the one he had with Sundar Raman - the IPL CEO..
The probe was centered on the actual functioning and ownsership pattern of various IPL franchisees in general, and N.Srinivasan and Gurunath Meiyappan in particular.
Sundar has stated in the past that the term "owner" for the purpose of accreditation was loosely used and has no implication, while identifying an owner under the franchise agreement. He further stated that the status of an ultimate owner was not clear, but may be read as per the Franchise Agreement.
Sundar also admitted that the IPL Governing Council had not made any effort to determine who the ultimate owners of the franchisees were. While Mudgal isn't too keen on discussing how the proceedings during interrogation went, he expressed happiness at the support received from most of the people he questioned.
(Posted on 25-03-2014)
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