BCCI’s probe panel gives clean chit to Srinivasan

J. Venkatesan
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The report says there is no evidence of anywrongdoing by Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra

The two-member enquiry commission of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) that went into allegations of betting and spot-fixing in the IPL season VI matches has given a clean chit to the BCCI president N. Srinivasan.

The panel held that there was no evidence to suggest that India Cements, owner of Chennai Super Kings (CSK), was either directly or indirectly involved in “betting” or “spot-fixing.”

The commission said the question to be decided was whether the arrest of CSK principal and Mr. Srinivasan’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan for betting had a bearing on the involvement of India Cements — and correspondingly — its Managing Director, Mr. Srinivasan, and it was found that it did not.

Commission members Justice T. Jayarama Chouta and Justice R. Balasubramanian, former Judges of the Madras High Court, said this in a report submitted to the BCCI working committee.

Though the BCCI had appointed its secretary, Sanjay Jagdale, as a third member, after he resigned his post, the two members went ahead with the enquiry and held the commission’s first sitting on June 21.

Highly placed sources told The Hindu that the trial court itself, while granting bail to Mr. Meiyappan, had recorded a finding that the accused was involved only in betting and there was no material to show his involvement in match-fixing and “we can’t go beyond what the judicial verdict had given against him.” “There was no evidence to suggest the involvement of India Cements or its Managing Director, Mr. Srinivasan, regarding the allegation of ‘betting’ or ‘spot fixing’,” the sources said.

Mr. Meiyappan's arrest created a crisis for his father-in-law, who had to temporarily step down, and Jagmohan Dalmiya, the president of the BCCI from 2001-2004, was appointed interim chief of the Board. The arrest came after paceman Shanthakumaran Sreesanth and two teammates of the Rajasthan Royals team – Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila – were taken into custody.

The sources said the committee probed the role of Mr. Meiyappan, India Cements, Jaipur IPL Pvt. Ltd. (owners of the Rajasthan Royals franchise) and its co-owner, Raj Kundra, who was suspended on charges of gambling in IPL VI matches.

Mr. Kundra had retracted his statement to the police about his involvement in betting and he had stated he was not involved in match-or spot-fixing. It was found that there was no evidence or “legal materials” to suggest that he had indulged in any “wrong-doing,” the sources said.

Rajasthan Royals, the sources said, had denied that it failed in its duty to monitor players’ activities. It explained the steps taken against each player as per the IPL rules. “It is impossible to shadow all the players. How can we disbelieve the reasonable steps taken by them. Despite this if individual players were involved in betting or spot-fixing, it is up to them to face action in accordance with law,” the sources said.

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