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BCCI rattled after court declares spot-fixing probe panel illegal

Last updated on: July 30, 2013 16:18 IST

BCCI rattled after court declares spot-fixing probe panel illegal

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Rattled by the Bombay high court’s order declaring the Board of Control for Cricket India’s two-member panel to probe the IPL spot-fixing scandal as "illegal", the Board's top officials immediately engaged in hectic discussions to chalk out the future course of action.

A division bench of justices S J Vazifdar and M S Sonak, hearing a public interest litigation filed by Cricket Association of Bihar and its secretary Aditya Verma challenging the constitution of the two-member commission, set up by the BCCI and IPL Governing Council to probe allegations of betting and spot-fixing, while allowing the PIL, said the constitution of the probe panel was "illegal and unconstitutional”. 


Image: N Srinivasan
Photographs: Ritam Banerjee/Getty Images

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BCCI rattled after court declares spot-fixing probe panel illegal

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BCCI president-in-exile N Srinivasan refused to comment on the court order.

"The only thing I have heard is that the writ has been dismissed and no relief has been granted. I don't want to say anything more," Srinivasan, who was expected to be back at the helm of affairs after stepping aside for the duration of the inquiry, told reporters.

"We will wait for the judgement to come into our hands before deciding our next step," Jagmohan Dalmiya, the Board's interim chief, said.

The high court order comes just two days after the probe panel submitted its report, which cleared Srinivasan, his son-in-law and Chennai Super Kings Team principal Gurunath Meiyappan and Rajasthan Royals’ owner Raj Kundra of charges of spot-fixing.


Image: N Srinivasan
Photographs: Rupak De Chowdhur/Reuters

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'Constitution of the probe panel was illegal and unconstitutional'

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The bench, while allowing the PIL, said the constitution of the probe panel was "illegal and unconstitutional”.

The petition alleged blatant bias by Srinivasan, who is the vice-chairman and managing director of India Cements Ltd, which owns Chennai Super Kings.


Image: N Srinivasan
Photographs: Ritam Banerjee/Getty Images

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'Very difficult for Srinivasan to come back as BCCI president'

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The PIL urged the court to direct the BCCI to recall its order constituting the probe panel and form a panel of retired judges as it may deem fit to hold an inquiry against Meiyappan, India Cements Ltd and Jaipur IPL Cricket Pvt Ltd with regard to their involvement in spot-fixing and betting.

The BCCI and Srinivasan, in their reply affidavits, termed the petition as "motivated and vested with personal interests”.

Reacting to the latest developments, a top BCCI official said, "It will be now very difficult for Srinivasan to come back as BCCI president. We will have a discussion and chalk out the future course of action.

The IPL spot-fixing scandal broke when Sreesanth, along with two other Rajasthan Royals players Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan and 11 bookies, was arrested for alleged spot-fixing in the cash-rich T20 tournament.

The contracts of the tainted players were terminated by their franchise, which also lodged a criminal complaint against them.

It snowballed into a crisis for the BCCI when Board president N Srinivasan's son-in-law Meiyappan was arrested on charges of betting on May 26.

A internal probe panel, originally comprising former judges Chouta, Balasubramanian and the then BCCI secretary Sanjay Jagdale, was constituted on May 28 to investigate the allegations against Meiyappan, who maintained his innocence after getting bail. Srinivasan remained defiant through the turmoil and refused to resign but had to step aside as BCCI president after a stormy emergent Board meeting on June 2 where Dalmiya took charge of an interim arrangement to run the Board's affairs pending the inquiry.

The upheaval led to the resignations of Board secretary Sanjay Jagdale and treasurer Ajay Shirke, who demanded Srinivasan's resignation on moral grounds.


Image: BCCI
Photographs: Arko Datta/Reuters

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