The Supreme Court has put off naming a fresh committee that will investigate the 2013 Indian Premier League spot-fixing and betting scandal. The two-judge bench, which was expected to name a new panel before the summer vacation, has decided not to pass any order this week. Friday will be the last working day before the summer recess begins. The Supreme Court will reopen on June 30.
Justice AK Patnaik, the senior judge sitting on the bench, is retiring on June 3. The court has the option to pass an order during the vacation after sending a notice to the concerned parties. It can also pass an order once the court reopens.
On April 29, the Supreme Court reserved its order about the panel to investigate the allegations against 13 "very important personalities" whose names figure in a sealed envelope submitted on February 10 by an inquiry committee that was headed by former High Court judge Justice Mukul Mudgal.
One of the names is that of BCCI president N. Srinivasan, who has been stripped off his powers as Board head by the top court. Srinivasan's son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan is in the eye of the scam after being indicted by the Mudgal committee. Several top players, including Chennai Super Kings skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, are alleged to have had links with bookies. The focus of the next round of investigation will on the 13 names.
Although Justice Mudgal has agreed to carry on the probe after being invited by the Supreme Court, the BCCI has opposed his involvement saying the panel's report submitted in February had errors. During his four-month investigation, Mudgal was assisted by senior advocate Nilay Dutta and Additional Solicitor General L. Nageswara Rao.
On April 29, Justice Mudgal submitted a wish-list of persons he wanted to conduct a second round of investigation into the IPL scam. Mudgal has wanted "a former cricketer of repute and integrity" to be part of his team. Mudgal has also proposed the name of M.L. Sharma, the former special director CBI, on his panel.
Justice Mudgal has also wanted four months to complete investigations. If the court does give Justice Mudgal the charge to lead another probe, a report can only be expected around September. Srinivasan's third year as BCCI expires September end.
However, the court has not stopped Srinivasan from representing the Indian Board at ICC. Srinivasan is set to take over as ICC's first chairman in July. As of now, no BCCI or ICC member has objected to Srinivasan's appointment.