New Delhi, Mar 28 IBNS | 8 months ago

The Supreme Court on Friday installed iconic Indian batsman Sunil Gavaskar as the interim chief of the BCCI replacing controversial industrialist-cricket administrator N Srinivasan but only for the Indian Premier League (IPL) seventh edition affairs.

While Gavaskar will head the affairs of the cash rich cricket league that is mired in controversy over spot fixing and betting, the non-IPL chief of BCCI will be former Indian cricketer Shivlal Yadav.

The top court bench headed by Justice A K Patnaik said any vice-president of the BCCI can take over as its chief after the IPL.

The apex court barred anyone connected to Srinivasan owned Indian Cements (which owns Chennai Super Kings team) to be associated with any IPL duty.

The next hearing is on April 16.

The apex court also allowed Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) to play in the seventh IPL as the court softened its stand on the teams.

Gavaskar has to come out of his contracts with the TV channels to officiate as the BCCI interim chief and court has asked the BCCI to compensate for that.

A BCCI lawyer said it is happy with the verdict. It also defended India captain MS Dhoni in the court and said false allegations were heaped on him. Dhoni is the captain of CSK, a team owned by Srinivasan.

BCCI told the court that Dhoni never misled the IPL scam investigation.

"Very reckless allegations were made against the Indian captain," said BCCI lawyer A Sundaram said, adding that Dhoni never was part of any cover up and "the fact of the matter is that he never said any such thing" as was reported (that Dhoni said he knew Srinivasan's son-in-law Meiyappan, accused of betting, as only a cricket enthusiast and not a Chennai Super Kings functionary).

However, Harish Salve, the lawyer representing Aditya Verma of the Bihar Cricket Association in the IPL spot-fixing and betting scandal, said the Indian captain had lied about the role of Meiyappan to the committee probing the IPL scandal.

Salve said based on the committee report Dhoni mentioned Meyappan as just a cricket enthusiast.

"I do not know why he volunteered to appear before the committee. He will have to answer if there is an inquiry on the cover up. BCCI by defending Dhoni is again compromising the position of Dhoni since BCCI would have asked rather why he said so," Salve told a TV channel.

The apex court earlier had suggested that former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar is eligible to take over as the interim chief of the BCCI in place of its controversial president N. Srinivasan.

It had proposed that Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) teams be barred from participation in IPL 7 pending verdict in the spot-fixing case but later softened its stand and allowed them to play in their Friday verdict.

The court also proposed that employees of India Cements, where Srinivasan is the managing director and which owns CSK, should not be part of the BCCI set-up.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered Srinivasan to resign from his post to ensure a fair probe in the IPL spot-fixing case.

A two-member Supreme Court bench comprising Justice AK Patnaik and Justice Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla on Tuesday heard the inquiry reports submitted by the Justice Mukul Mudgal Committee on the scam.

The Indian Premier League Probe Committee, headed by Justice (Retd) Mukul Mudgal, who had been appointed by the Supreme Court to look into IPL 6 scam, submitted its report on Feb 10 where it found Srinivasan's son-in-law and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) team's Gurunath Meiyappan guilty of match-fixing.

The 170-page report, filed in the Supreme Court said Meiyappan had fixed and put bets on IPL matches.

The report, however, said that more investigation is necessary against Rajasthan Royals owner Raj Kundra.

The Committee filed the report after interacting with former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly and Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president Jagmohan Dalmiya among others.

It also interacted with Cricket Association of Bihar secretary Aditya Verma and journalists Kishore Bhimani and Boria Majumdar in connection with the probe into the matter.

The Mumbai Police earlier in September last chargesheeted Meiyappan for betting and cheating during the IPL.

The Mumbai Police then said they found no evidence of spot-fixing against Meiyappan.

The police also named actor Vindoo Dara Singh and 15 bookies from Pakistan in the chargesheet.

The BCCI had found four Rajasthan Royals players guilty of spot-fixing during IPL 6.

The board also banned former Test pacer S. Sreesanth and Ankit Chavan for life from playing any representative cricket, or in any way being associated with the activities of the BCCI or its affiliates

The lid was blown off the IPL scam after Sreesanth, Chandila and Chavan - were arrested along with 11 bookies from Mumbai on May 16, 2013 for their role in spot-fixing in the tournament.

(Posted on 28-03-2014)

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