N. Srinivasan among 13 named in IPL probe report, can't run BCCI, tells Supreme Court

The Supreme Court, on a recommendation from Indian Premier League's interim president Sunil Gavaskar, has asked Sundar Raman to continue as IPL's Chief Operating Officer. The court also asked the BCCI how it will probe the IPL betting and fixing scam.

Reported by: Soumitra Bose
Last updated on Wednesday, 16 April, 2014 15:49 IST
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N. Srinivasan has been named in a report on the spot-fixing scandal that has beleaguered the Indian Premier League, the Supreme Court said on Wednesday. The names of 12 prominent cricketers also figure in the report. The court stressed that Srinivasan cannot perform any function within India's cricket Board and that its interim order on March 28 will stand. On Tuesday, Srinivasan had filed an affidavit asking the court to reinstate him since he had done no wrong.

The court had removed Srinivasan as BCCI president till the IPL case was properly investigated and the guilty booked. The judges had installed batting legend Sunil Gavaskar as the interim head to manage BCCI's IPL affairs.

The Twenty20 competition, the seventh edition of which begins in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday evening, has been embroiled in allegations of illegal betting and spot-fixing, including against Srinivasan's son-in-law, Gurunath Meiyappan.

The top court also said that Sundar Raman can continue as the Chief Operating Officer of the Indian Premier League. This was on the basis of Gavaskar's recommendation, the court informed.

The Supreme Court has asked the BCCI to respond how it will conduct a probe into the match-fixing and betting allegations. "We cannot close our eyes after having come to know about the allegations," the two-judge bench said. The next hearing is on April 22.

Srinivasan, according to the probe report, has 12 allegations against him, with annexures to each of them. "It seems that Mr Srinivasan has not taken the allegations seriously," the court said.

The bench said that it is not inclined to order a CBI or SIT probe as it would sully the image of cricketers and undermine the autonomy of cricket Board. "We are not considering the SIT because we don't want the CBI or the police or the media to throw mud on cricketers," Justice AK Patnaik, one of the two judges, said. "Reputations of cricketers and great names are at stake. What happens to the reputation of the players who are representing the country and Indian cricketers of the future. Cricket has to be clean but institutional autonomy has to be maintained," he added.

The Supreme Court is looking at a damning report it commissioned into wrongdoing in last year's IPL when former Test bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth was caught deliberately bowling badly while playing for the Rajasthan Royals in return for thousands of dollars from bookmakers.

Released on February 10, the report also concluded that Srinivasan's son-in-law Meiyappan -- who was a member of the management of the Chennai Super Kings -- could be guilty of illegal betting on IPL games. The Super Kings are owned by India Cements, whose managing director is Srinivasan. Since 2008, the team has been captained by Dhoni.

Here's a look back at the top 10 developments of the 2013 IPL betting and spot-fixing scam (latest first):

1. On April 15, Srinivasan files an affidavit saying the Supreme Court should reinstate him as BCCI president. Srinivasan says he is innocent and allegations of conflict of interest were baseless. He also says that he never tried to hide the real identity of his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, who has been indicted by a court-appointed inquiry committee for betting and sharing team (Chennai Super Kings) information.

2. On April 11, Supreme Court refuses to hand over to BCCI lawyers the audio recording of statements made by Dhoni, Srinivasan and Indian Premier League Chief Operating Officer Sunder Raman. All three had deposed before the Justice Mukul Mudgal probe panel. The tapes are in a sealed envelope in possession of the bench.

3. On April 11, suspended IPS officer Sampath Kumar wants Special Investigation Team to probe BCCI and players linked with Indian Premier League match-fixing and betting scam. He files a petition in the Supreme Court saying his transfer and suspension from Tamil Nadu crime branch was motivated and an act of a powerful lobby trying to hush up the IPL scandal.

4. On April 9, BCCI moves a petition requesting the Supreme Court to share transcripts of the audio tapes containing conversation between the probe panel and Dhoni among others. The petitioner's counsel charged Dhoni for not revealing the real identity of Meiyappan. Dhoni apparently told the panel that Meiyappan was "an enthusiast" when Srinivasan's son-in-law actually ran the CSK show.

5. On March 28, Supreme Court suspends Srinivasan as BCCI president. In its interim order, the court says Srinivasan will be replaced by former cricketers Sunil Gavaskar and Shivlal Yadav. Gavaskar was given charge of IPL affairs while Yadav was entrusted with non-IPL issues. This is the first time when a top court 'suspended' a Board official. Court says final hearing on April 16.

6. On March 25, the court slams Srinivasan for corruption in Indian cricket. The judges rebuke the 69-year-old Tamil Nadu strongman for conflict of interest and say he must go to rid cricket of corruption.

7. On March 7, BCCI lawyers tell the Supreme Court not to reveal details in the sealed envelope as it contains "speculative and baseless charges against leading cricketers."

8. On February 10, the Justice Mudgal-led panel submits it report to the Supreme Court. It submits two reports and a sealed envelope that has confidential but unverified content.

9. In October, the Supreme Court appoints a three-member committee headed by a retired judge (Mukul Mudgal) to probe allegations of betting and match-fixing. The panel gets four months to file its report.

10. The case dates back to June 2013 when the Cricket Association of Bihar secretary Aditya Verma raised the issue of conflict of interest in the formation of a BCCI commissioned two-member inquiry panel. Retired judges T Jayaram Chouta and R Balasubramanian found "no evidence of any wrongdoing" on the part of Meiyappan and Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra. Verma filed a PIL in the Bombay High Court. The judges termed the probe panel "illegal". The BCCI challenged the Bombay High Court order in Supreme Court.

Story first published on: Wednesday, 16 April 2014 11:24 IST

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