The Andhra high court might have struck down the life ban imposed on Md Azharuddin by the BCCI earlier this month, but former CBI joint director, K Madhavan, feels his investigation and evidence against the former India skipper was very strong.
The high court had set aside the ban on Azhar, observing the BCCI had proceeded against the former cricketer unilaterally.
Without questioning the high court verdict, Madhavan said on Friday, "I believe he should have been punished and that is why I gave my report. Yes, he was guilty. But, if somebody feels he should not have been punished, I am not god that I can have the final say. It is the right of the high court to maintain status quo or overturn his ban. Suppose tomorrow someone goes to the Supreme Court and pleads that the HC verdict was wrong, then the lower court judge is not going to take it otherwise."
After the match-fixing scandal broke out in 2000, the BCCI appointed Madhavan to investigate the allegations that shocked the cricketing world.
He submitted his report to the BCCI in November 2000, and, based on the findings, the board imposed a life ban on Azhar.
Ajay Jadeja and Manoj Prabhakar were handed five-year bans.
"I reported what I felt was correct. I said in my report that Azhar was guilty. My investigation was strong. That is why out of the five or six people I investigated, only three were found guilty. I cleared Kapil Dev because of lack of evidence," said Madhavan, who also investigated the Bofors case.
The BCCI, however, is yet to clear the way for Azhar's return to the cricketing fold. It has said that it would consider the ban-related issues at an "appropriated time".
"The BCCI believed in my report and punished the guilty. It could have also said that it didn't believe in my report. It could have also given a mild punishment, like a one-year ban, but it didn't. It is the right of every party to do what it likes. There is no personal involvement," said Madhavan.