The Supreme Court will Sep 11 hear cross-petitions by the BCCI and Cricket Association of Bihar challenging the Bombay High Court judgment holding that the panel that probed allegations of betting and spot fixing during the sixth version of IPL was not validly constituted.
A bench of Justice A.K. Patnaik and Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar, while directing the listing of the matter for final hearing Sep 11, issued notice to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI); N. Srinivasan, who stepped aside as BCCI chief; Indian Cements Ltd – the owner of Chennai Super Kings; and Jaipur IPL Cricket Private Ltd on the CAB’s plea.
A two-member probe panel comprising retired judges Justice T. Jayarama Chouta and Justice R. Balasubramanian had given a clean chit to Chennai Super King’s Gurunath Meiyappan, the son-in-law of Srinivasan, and Rajasthan Royals owner Raj Kundra for their alleged involvement in betting in Indian Premier League (IPL).
While BCCI has challenged the high court verdict holding the probe panel as invalid, the Bihar cricket panel filed a petition contending that the high court, after invalidating the two-member probe panel as not validly constituted in terms of apex cricketing body’s rules, should have on its own appointed an independent inquiry panel.
Appearing for the Bihar Cricket Association, senior counsel Harish Salve said the cross-petitions had been filed to address the limited portion of the High court judgment wherein after junking the validity of the BCCI probe panel, it did not take to its logical conclusion by setting up a probe panel on its own or suggesting suitable alternate method to inquire into the various allegations.
He said that after observing that the BCCI’s probe panel suffered from “serious lack of probity, transparency and respect for its own Rules” was it correct on the part of the high court to refrain from taking steps to ensure that further course of investigation is also not tainted by the lack of sincerity and vested motives of Srinivasan.
Appearing for the BCCI, senior counsel C.A. Sundram urged the court to hold hearing on the BCCI plea as the outcome of this hearing would also address the contention being made in the plea by the Cricket Association of Bihar.
Srinivasan had to step aside as BCCI president in the wake of allegation of the involvement of Meiyappan, who was looking after IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings, in the betting scandal. Srinivasan was replaced by Jagmohan Dalmiya who held temporary charge for the day-to-day running of the cricketing body’s affairs.