Appoints a new panel to probe IPL betting and spot-fixing

N. Srinivasan was on Tuesday permitted by the Supreme Court to take charge as president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

It also constituted a three-member committee to probe betting and spot-fixing in IPL matches involving his son-in-law Gurunathan Meiyappan and owners of Rajasthan Royals. The former Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Mukul Mudgal, will head the committee.

A Bench of Justices A.K. Patnaik and J.S. Khehar passed the order after hearing senior counsel Aryama Sundaram, who appeared for the BCCI, and senior counsel Abhishek Singhvi, who appeared for the Cricket Association of Bihar. Both gave their consent for the panel to be led by Justice Mudgal.

The committee, which will have Additional Solicitor-General L. Nageswara Rao and BCCI member Niloy Datta as its members, was asked by the Bench to submit its report in four months.

Mr. Srinivasan stepped down after Mr. Meiyappan was arrested in the scandal. Though he was re-elected president on September 29, the court restrained him from taking charge.

Earlier, Mr. Sundaram said that in view of the circumstances obtained after the Bombay High Court’s verdict — filing of charge sheet by the Mumbai police against Mr. Meiyappan — he had no objection to the panel named by the court.

Mr. Singhvi argued that till the probe was completed by the committee, Mr. Srinivasan should not be allowed to take charge. Since June, the Board had been functioning without him, and it could continue to do so until after the committee submitted its report.

Justice Patnaik told counsel, “We don’t want to be accused of judicial overreach. We will like to remain within the parameters of this dispute. Let us be more detached [so as] to preserve the dignity of the court.” The Bench said that since the Board and its president were kept away from the independent probe, Mr. Srinivasan could assume charge.

The Bench asked the BCCI and Mr. Srinivasan — whose India Cements owns Chennai Super Kings — not to interfere with the probe but to cooperate with it by providing the committee with all information.

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