HC junks BCCI probe panel, big blow to Srinivasan
The Bombay high court called the BCCI bluff on Tuesday when it struck down as illegal its probe panel that gave clean chit to Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals in the IPL spot-fixing case, paving the way for N Srinivasan’s return as the board chief.
The order, seen as a setback for Srinivasan, sent the Board of Control for Cricket in India officials in a huddle. The BCCI’s working committee is to meet on August 2. A decision on whether to move the Supreme Court immediately or wait for police probe to end could be taken then, PTI quoted BCCI sources as saying.
Srinivasan, who owns Chennai Super Kings, refused comment. “The only thing I have heard is that the writ has been dismissed and no relief has been granted. I don’t want to say anything more,” he said.
“We find that the manner in which the BCCI has constituted the panel under its own rules is illegal and unconstitutional,” a division bench of justice SJ Vazifdar and justice MS Sonak said, just two days after the panel submitted the report.
The court was hearing a public interest litigation filed by the Cricket Association of Bihar against the constitution of the panel. It was asked to investigate the allegations of betting and spot-fixing against Srinivasan's son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, Rajasthan Royals and its co-owner Raj Kundra. It found no evidence of any wrongdoing against them.
Srinivasan, who is also the vice-president and managing director of India Cements that owns CSK, had to "step aside" after Meiyappan was arrested on May 24 on charges of gambling and cheating by the Mumbai crime branch. The charge sheet is expected to be filed by the end of August.
The Delhi Police on Tuesday filed the charge sheet in the spot-fixing case, which came to light when they arrested three Rajasthan players on May 16.
Alleging blatant bias by Srinivasan, the Bihar association had asked the court to ask retired judges to probe spot-fixing and betting charges.