A two-member probe panel, which was investigating the spot-fixing and betting scandal in the Indian Premier League, has submitted its report to the Board of Control for Cricket in India. The report says that no evidence of spot-fixing has been found against Rajasthan Royals' co-owner Raj Kundra and Gurunath Meiyappan, son-in-law of N Srinivasan, who stepped aside as the BCCI president till the time the probe by the two-member team is completed. The report has also reportedly cleared Chennai Super Kings of fixing charges.
However, Niranjan Shah, vice-president of the BCCI, told NDTV that if the police investigation finds Mr Meiyappan or Mr Kundra guilty, the clean chit given by the probe panel will not stand. Mr Meiyappan, according to the police, had admitted to betting during his custody.
The panel, comprising two former High Court judges, cleared Mr Meiyappan's name reportedly after the Mumbai Police refused to depose without court orders. According to sources, the report says a witness in the case, Umesh Goenka, had claimed that he was forced to take Mr Kundra's name by the police.
The probe panel's clean chit to Mr Meiyappan may now pave the way for Mr Srinivasan's return soon.
Mr Srinivasan, who also owns the Chennai franchise, had earlier said that the probe report would be final and binding. However, sources now say the report will be studied by BCCI vice-president Arun Jaitley, who will then brief the IPL governing council and the Working Committee on the August 2 in a meeting in New Delhi. Mr Srinivasan is likely to attend the meeting.
Mr Srinivasan's resignation was sought by several BCCI members after his son-in-law was arrested on charges of gambling, cheating, and conspiracy in May. After initially refusing to quit, he had finally agreed to step aside at a reportedly stormy emergency meeting in June. Mr Srinivasan's mentor and former BCCI chief Jagmohan Dalmiya was appointed the interim president to manage the day-to-day affairs of the board.
Mr Srinivasan had said that if his son-in-law was placing bets, he was not aware of it.