The Supreme Court, on Tuesday, reserved its order on constituting a probe panel to investigate allegations against Narayanaswami Srinivasan and 12 cricketers in the IPL betting and spot-fixing scandal.
A bench headed by Justice A K Patnaik, which had suggested that the Justice Mudgal Committee conduct the probe, reserved its order after the Board of Control for Cricket in India and Srinivasan opposed further investigation by the committee and pleaded for setting up a fresh panel.
The bench said it cannot come to any findings regarding the allegations levelled in the Mudgal committee report against Srinivasan and 12 others until a duly constituted probe committee looks them.
The court said it had suggested a further probe by the Mudgal Committee itself to maintain confidentiality of the allegations. It said the allegations would be known to other people if a fresh panel comprising new members is allowed to conduct the probe.
Earlier, the apex court had asked the Committee whether it is willing to conduct a further probe against Srinivasan and 12 others in the scandal.
It had said that the committee will be given assistance by investigating agencies if it agrees to further probe the 13 people named by it in a sealed envelope following its initial investigation in the scandal.
The BCCI had also informed the court that it had decided to constitute a three-member panel to further probe the scandal, but the bench said it will pass an order after hearing all the parties and considering the Justice Mudgal committee's reply.
The all-powerful working committee of the BCCI had, in its emergent meeting on April 20, decided to suggest the names of former all-rounder Ravi Shastri, former Calcutta high court Chief Justice J N Patel and ex-CBI director R K Raghavan as members of the probe committee.
The apex court had, on April 16, expressed reservations over a SIT or CBI probe, saying that institutional autonomy of the Board has to be maintained and a committee constituted by the BCCI to look into the issue would be preferred.
The court had said that it cannot "close its eyes" to the allegations made by its probe committee in the scandal and a probe must be conducted to clear the air as some prominent players were named in the report submitted in sealed envelop.
Earlier, Justice Mudgal, who had headed a three-member committee, had submitted a report in a sealed envelope to the court.
Image: Cricket fans burn an effigy of Narayanaswami Srinivasan after his named cropped up in the IPL betting and spot-fixing probe.
Photograph: Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters/Rediff.com archives