IPL Scam: Supreme Court Reveals More Names, No Relief for N. Srinivasan
The much-heard in court IPL 2013 betting and spot-fixing scandal is seemingly in its home stretch. The Supreme Court is examining a probe report submitted by retired judge Justice Mukul Mudgal.
The Supreme Court has once again adjourned the hearing of the IPL scam report to November 24 (Monday). The special Bench, after reading the 35-page report submitted by Justice Mukul Mudgal and his team, has revealed the names of BCCI president-in-exile N. Srinivasan, his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, who was team principal of Chennai Super Kings, Rajasthan Royals owner Raj Kundra and former IPL COO Sundar Raman among those probed by the panel for allegations of corruption.
The top developments (in ascending order) of the IPL betting and spot-fixing case:
1. The case dates back to June 2013. Aditya Verma, secretary of the Cricket Association of Bihar (CAB), filed a PIL in Bombay High Court raising charges of a conflict of interest in the Board's two-member inquiry panel probing corruption in IPL. The Bombay High Court declared the probe "illegal".
2. The BCCI and the CAB went to the Supreme Court against the Bombay High Court order. Verma's lawyers said the Bombay court could have suggested a fresh mechanism to investigate the charges of corruption.
3. In October 2013, the Supreme Court appointed a three-member committee, headed by former High Court judge Mukul Mudgal. The panel included additional solicitor general L Nageswara Rao and senior advocate Nilay Dutta. The Supreme Court wanted the panel to conduct an independent inquiry into the allegations of corruption against Srinivasan's son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, India Cements, and Rajasthan Royals team owner Raj Kundra. The team was also asked to probe allegations of betting and spot-fixing in IPL and the involvement of players.
4. On February 10, 2014, the Mudgal CommitteeÂ submitted two reports to the Supreme court. One submitted jointly by Mudgal and Rao and one by Dutta. They also filed a sealed envelope containing 13 names against whom there were "unsubstantiated" charges of corruption. One of the names was Srinivasan.
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 former Test spinner Yadav was entrusted with non-IPL issues.
6. 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 Meiyappan, charged by Mudgal committee for betting and sharing team (Chennai Super Kings) information.
7. In May this year, following the panel's initial report, the Supreme Court gave the Mudgal committee greater powers to investigate the contents of the sealed envelope. Assisted by former senior IPS officer BB Mishra and Mumbai and Chennai police among others, the panel got greater investigative powers for search and seizure of relevant documents. It did not have the power to arrest. The panel was asked to submit a report by August-end.
8. On September 1, the Mudgal panel seeks a two-month extension to complete its probe. The Supreme Court allows the extension.
9. BCCI lawyers wants Srinivasan to be reinstated since the Board AGM was due. The Bench refused saying BCCI AGM was "not its concern." The court also referred to an earlier order by Justice AK Patnaik saying Srinivasan "could not come back as BCCI president as long as the probe is on." BCCI puts off AGM to November 20, clearly indicating that it will wait for Supreme Court's ruling on 'suspended' Srinivasan.
10. Mudgal panel submits its final report to the special Supreme Court Bench in a sealed cover on November 3. Court hears case on November 10 but adjourns till November 14. The Bench reveals the names of Srinivasan, Gurunath Meiyappan, Raj Kundra and Sundar Raman among those probed. Notices will be served on them for what the court called "misdemeanour."