IPL corruption case: Supreme Court defers hearing till March 25
The Supreme Court has adjourned the Indian Premier League corruption case hearing till March 25. A three-member probe panel submitted its report to the apex court on February 10. The report found Chennai Super Kings official Gurunath Meiyappan guilty of betting.
The Supreme Court had adjourned till March 25 the hearing of the reports on corruption in the Indian Premier League submitted by a three-member inquiry committee. The matter was listed in the apex court on Friday. The Justice Mukul Mudgal-led panel, appointed by the apex court in October last year, submitted its findings on February 10. The 170-page report -- with annexures running into more than 4000 pages - was compiled after recording statements of players, journalists and officials associated with the IPL.
Meanwhile, the BCCI, which runs the IPL, on Thursday pleaded before the Supreme Court not to make public the cricketers named in the report placed in a sealed envelope by its probe committee. The Mudgal committee has named in its report six prominent "Indian capped" players, including one who is part of the current team, whose names cropped up during its betting and spot-fixing investigation.
The BCCI, in its response to the inquiry report, said "speculative and baseless" charges against leading cricketers have been made by "unscrupulous" news channels and the apex court must pass an order to prevent any further damage to the image and reputation of "innocent" cricketers. (Seven big points of BCCI's reply to Supreme Court)
The probe report had found Chennai Super King's Gurunath Meiyappan guilty of betting and passing match-related information during Indian Premier League 2013. Meiyappan is the son in law of Board of Control for Cricket in India president, N. Srinivasan. The report, however, said that more investigation was necessary against Rajasthan Royals owner Raj Kundra, who is also facing charges of betting and match-fixing. Kundra is the husband of Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty.
Last July, a two-member BCCI-appointed panel, comprising retired judges T Jayaram Chouta and R Balasubramanian had found "no evidence of any wrongdoing" on the part of Gurunath and Kundra. However, the Mudgal panel says betting and spot-fixing charges against Gurunath had "not been investigated thoroughly" by the anti-corruption units of the ICC and the BCCI or the Crime Branch Criminal Investigation Department of the Chennai police, "even though some information was available for such an investigation to be conducted."
The details of the Mudgal report are expected to have a deep impact on the future of CSK and RR. As per IPL Governing Council's constitution, both CSK and RR face suspension. According to clause 11.3 of the IPL franchise agreement, if any official, team owner or anyone associated with the team tarnishes the image of the league, the franchise can be terminated immediately. (IPS officer who named MS Dhoni suspended)
Meiyappan was designated as the Team Principal of CSK before being demoted when news of him being involved in illegal betting came to limelight. While defending him, Srinivasan said Meiyappan was a mere "enthusiast" and had nothing to do with CSK. Mudgal report clearly says Meiyappan was indeed the "face of CSK and a team official." The BCCI has now admitted that Meiyappan was indeed a CSK official.