The Supreme Court on Monday accused IPL Chief Operating Officer Sundar Raman of “watching the fun,” showing more interest in entertaining VVIPs and bureaucrats rather than looking into information that came his way about betting.
Mr. Raman is one of the four “officials” accused of misdemeanour by the Justice Mukul Mudgal Committee, set up by the Supreme Court to enquire into allegations of spot-fixing and betting in the IPL.
The committee report said he was in touch with the “contact of a bookie” eight times in one IPL session. It said he had failed to act on information that BCCI president-in-exile N. Srinivasan’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan and Rajasthan Royals team co-owner Raj Kundra were betting.
Seeking discharge from any further proceedings in the matter, Mr. Raman, represented by senior advocate V. Giri, submitted that his role was only that of a “paid employee” and he had no stakes in the IPL. Counsel submitted that Mr. Raman, a postgraduate in Business Management, looked after the day-to-day IPL activities and interacted with bureaucrats and VVIPs.
“So your only role as a business management professional was to take care of the comforts of the VVIPs, bureaucrats instead of taking a look into the serious allegations of betting? You were just watching the fun,” Justice Fakir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla said.
Justice T.S. Thakur, who led the Bench, asked whether the “real” reason was that Mr. Raman came to know that Mr. Meiyappan was indulging in betting.
“Or did it happen that you knew that Mr. Meiyappan was involved in betting and, for you, it [taking action] would have been staking your job?” Justice Thakur asked.
Mr. Giri countered that the information Mr. Raman received was not “actionable” and only in the realm of “rumours.” Counsel argued that the person who told him, Y.P. Singh, chief of the Anti-Corruption Services Unit, was himself of the opinion that these were just rumours.