Conflict of interest? Captain cool Dhoni faces heat over Rhiti Sports
While Mahendra Singh Dhoni is away leading India against Bangladesh, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has already initiated a probe into his alleged conflict of interest involving Rhiti Sports Management Private Limited, a company that manages his commercial interests as well as that of Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja.
Confirming the development, BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya said the matter is with the disciplinary committee. "We can only make an announcement about the outcome of the findings once the committee submits its report," Dalmiya told HT.
Dalmiya, Jyotiraditya Scindia and KP Kajaria of the National Cricket Club form the new three-member disciplinary committee constituted after the AGM in March. Dalmiya didn't spell out a deadline for the submission of the report, but hinted that it could be anytime soon.
The controversy arose when it came to light that Dhoni owned 15% shares at Rhiti, a company set up and run by his friend Arun Pandey, which besides managing some India players, also handles the marketing portfolio of Dhoni's IPL team Chennai Super Kings.
In a press release soon after, Rhiti had claimed that Dhoni's shares were bought back the following month. "As on date, MSD holds no share in Rhiti…," read a release from Pandey in April 2013.
Dalmiya, after taking charge as BCCI's interim president in June that year, had promised that conflict of interest allegations against Dhoni will be looked into.
Mum on Chandila
BCCI, however, is yet to sentence Ajit Chandila, 'lynchpin' of the IPL 8 spot-fixing scandal. Investigations by BCCI's anti-corruption unit and disciplinary committee are long over, but Chandila, unlike S Sreesanth and Ankeet Chavan, has not been handed a sentence yet. Chandila just remains suspended by the BCCI.
The ACSU of the BCCI which was investigating Chandila, had submitted its report after which the disciplinary committee of Rajeev Shukla and Shivlal Yadav had heard Chandila.
"There is nothing more to investigate. We have submitted the report based on which the disciplinary committee heard Chandila. It's up to the BCCI to announce the sentence," said Ravi Sawani, former ACSU chief. It was learnt that the ACSU report has recommended life ban for Chandila just like it did for Sreesanth and Chavan.
"We will see how soon we can close Chandila's case once we go through the disciplinary committee report," said Dalmiya.
The BCCI was hamstrung by its own rule. Citing constitutional impediment - whether a disciplinary committee can pronounce a verdict with just two members (Shukla and Yadav) - the BCCI chose to wait for the return of Srinivasan, the third member of the committee. That did not happen. Now it's up to the current regime to take it forward.
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