Madras HC seeks reply on CSK petition

Justice Lodha Committee’s order suspended Chennai Super Kings from Indian Premier League over the 2013 betting scam. File Photo.  

The Madras High Court on Thursday directed all respondents including the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to submit a comprehensive reply in two weeks on a petition filed by the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) seeking a stay on the order of the Lodha Committee suspending it for two years from the Indian Premier League (IPL). The CSK had sought permission for the team to play in IPL matches.

The first Bench of the Madras High Court comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice T.S. Sivagnanam directed the BCCI, Cricket Association of Bihar and India Cements to file the reply. The merits of the case and maintainability of the petition will be gone into on September 23.

The direction comes ahead of the BCCI’s working committee meeting in Kolkata on Friday.

The Lodha Committee, while suspending Chennai Super Kings from IPL, refused to accept the argument that the act of Gurunath Meiyappan, team official, indicted for betting in IPL 2013 was personal and that the franchise could thus not be held responsible.

The petitioner argued that neither the CSK management nor its players were found guilty of betting or match-fixing. Mr. Meiyappan never had shares in India Cements, nor was he in the management of the company, the petition contended.

It argued that the Lodha Committee’s order went against the fundamental principles of natural justice and fair hearing, non-compliance of which was evident from a finding of the committee that the only task left to it was imposition of appropriate punishment on the franchise without going into the charges or the offence committed.

Subsequently, the Madras High Court issued notice to the BCCI and India Cements on the petition. It also allowed Cricket Association of Bihar, on whose plea the Supreme Court had directed probe into the IPL-6 betting and spot fixing scandal, to implead in the case.

The BCCI working committee will discuss the Lodha Committee report based on the recommendations of the working group (consisting of BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur, IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla, BCCI treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry and IPL governing council member and former India captain Sourav Ganguly).

According to reports, the working group has recommended two options for the BCCI — running the two franchises, which have been banned, under different management for the two years or invite fresh tenders from new franchises while keeping the banned ones away during the term of their suspension.

The High Court’s decision on Thursday now clears the stage for the working committee to take up the matter for discussion and decide its future course of action.

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Printable version | Oct 25, 2021 9:45:52 PM |

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