Supreme Court, reading out a 130-page order, has said that BCCI functions are public functions, amenable to judicial law. N. Srinivasan has to choose between his IPL team Chennai Super Kings and BCCI president’s post.
by Soumitra Bose, NDTVSports
After almost 18 months of deliberations on the 2013 Indian Premier League betting and match-fixing scandal, the Supreme Court has said that N. Srinivasan’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan and Raj Kundra of Rajasthan Royals were involved in betting. However, it also said that Srinivasan was not guilty of cover-up and “charges against him, at best, be regarded as suspicion.” It also said that “BCCI functions are public functions, amenable to judicial law.”
However, the top court has said that conflict of interest issues remain and Srinivasan has to choose between his IPL team Chennai Super Kings and the cricket Board. Srinivasan is also the first chairman of ICC.
Srinivasan is seeking a re-election as BCCI president and Thursday’s order will be a shot in the arm. In the wake of the IPL probe, Srinivasan was stood down last year by the top court from his position as Board chief. The BCCI has already postponed its Annual General Meeting and elections twice. As per its constitution, the AGM should have been held by September 30 last year. Srinivasan is seeking another term, this time as a candidate backed by the BCCI’s East Zone units.
The Supreme Court-appointed probe committee, led by Justice Mukul Mudgal, had in its first report indicted Meiyappan of betting and sharing team information. Srinivasan had mentioned that Gurunath was a mere ‘cricket enthusiast.’ Srinivasan was earlier charged with conflict of interest and not taking adequate action against involved in ‘misdemeanours.’
The case dates back to June 2013 when Aditya Verma, secretary of the Cricket Association of Bihar (CAB), raised charges of a conflict of interest in the BCCI’s original two-member inquiry panel for the IPL corruption issue.
A Bombay High Court ruling later termed the probe panel “illegal”. The BCCI and the CAB filed petitions in the Supreme Court against this order, with the CAB contending that the Bombay High Court could have suggested a fresh mechanism to look into the corruption allegations.
The Supreme Court then appointed a three-member committee, headed by former High Court judge Mukul Mudgal and comprising additional solicitor general L Nageswara Rao and Nilay Dutta to conduct an independent inquiry into the allegations of corruption against Srinivasan’s son-in-law and Chennai Super Kings official Gurunath Meiyappan, India Cements, and Rajasthan Royals team owner Raj Kundra, as well as with the larger mandate of allegations around betting and spot-fixing in IPL matches and the involvement of players.
(With inputs from A. Vaidyanathan)