High Court asks cricket body if it will seek extra water for IPL pitches, ground

The Bombay High Court today sought to know from the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) if it would seek additional water supply from the Pune civic body for ground and pitch maintenance for six IPL matches shifted to that city from Chennai.

The MCA stadium at Gahunje in Pune will host the remaining six ‘home’ matches of IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings (CSK) after these were shifted from the southern city following protests over the Cauvery water-sharing issue in the Tamil Nadu capital.

A division bench of justices A S Oka and Riyaz Chagla sought the MCA response while hearing a public interest litigation filed by NGO Loksatta Movement in 2016.

Opposing holding of IPL matches in Maharashtra, the NGO had raised concerns over water usage for ground management at a time when the state was reeling under drought.

The bench was today informed by the petitioner’s lawyer that while originally 11 matches were to be played in Maharashtra during the ongoing IPL, six games, which were to be played in Chennai, have now been shifted to Pune.

The lawyer argued that the Pune city and rural areas of the district were already facing water shortage.

The judges then sought to know from the MCA, which manages the stadium, if it would be seeking more water than what is being already supplied to it by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC).

Last week, the high court had posed the same query to the Mumbai Cricket Association, which manages the Wankhede stadium, another IPL venue.

The court had asked the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) if it would supply additional water to the stadium in South Mumbai.

The BMC today filed an affidavit, saying no special water supply would be given to the stadium.

The court posted the petition for further hearing on April 18.

The M A Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai was the home ground of the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led CSK. The IPL franchise played its first home match on April 10 against the Kolkata Knight Riders.

Political parties and other groups in Tamil Nadu had demanded that all the IPL matches scheduled in Chennai be cancelled till the Centre forms the Cauvery Water Management Board. They held protests in support of their demand.

The Supreme Court had on February 16 pronounced its verdict on the Cauvery dispute between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

“The matches had to be shifted out of Chennai as police had said that they were unable to provide security in the prevailing situation” IPL Chairman Rajv Shukla had said on April 12.

Time to see if IPL is in interest of cricket: Bombay HC

The Bombay High Court today said the IPL has made people familiar with phrases like “betting and fixing” and in view of the alleged violations of foreign exchange rules it was time to see if the tournament was in interest of the game of cricket.

The scathing remarks were made by a division bench of justices S C Dharmadhikari and Bharati Dangre while passing its order on a petition filed by former Indian Premier League (IPL) chairman Lalit Modi challenging a July 2015 order of the adjudicating authority of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) refusing him the permission to cross-examine witnesses in a FEMA case.

The ED has alleged violations of foreign exchange rules during the 2009 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) held in South Africa.

The court allowed Modi’s petition and permitted his legal counsels to cross-examine the witnesses but made strong observations on the tournament.

“If IPL has led to serious violations then it is high time the organisers realise whether what has been achieved by conducting the tournament since the past ten years can be termed as a sport or game…for it is full of illegalities and breaches of law,” the court said.

“IPL has made us familiar with phrases like betting and fixing of matches. It is for the central government, RBI and organisers to now consider if conducting IPL is in interest of the game/sport,” the court said in its order.

The bench while allowing Modi’s petition said the impugned order grossly violates the principles of natural justice as the adjudicating authority was going to rely on the statements of the witnesses against Modi.

The court also noted that the proceedings have been dragged for too long now.

“We direct the adjudicating authority to issue summons to the witnesses to appear before it on March 2. The cross- examination shall be concluded positively by March 13. The proceedings shall be completed by May 31,” the court directed.

In 2013, the ED initiated adjudication proceedings against Modi under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) regarding a bank account opened by the BCCI and IPL authorities in South Africa ahead of the 2009 edition of the IPL.

MCA moves SC on shifting IPL matches from Maharashtra

MCA moves SC on shifting IPL matches from Maharashtra
MCA moves SC on shifting IPL matches from Maharashtra

Mumbai Cricket Association on Friday moved the Supreme Court against the Bombay High Court order directing shifting of IPL matches outside Maharashtra.

The plea was mentioned before a bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Shiva Kirti Singh by senior advocate Kapil Sibal which listed the matter for hearing on April 25.

The cricket association in its plea said that it will not be using potable water for the cricket pitches but use treated sewage water instead.

The Bombay High Court had on April 13 ordered shifting of all IPL matches scheduled in Maharashtra after April 30 to another state in view of the severe drought in the state.

As per the HC’s order, 13 matches, including the final in Mumbai scheduled for May 29, cannot be held in Maharashtra.

The High Court’s direction had come despite an assurance by BCCI that IPL franchises of Mumbai and Pune had agreed to contribute Rs five crore to Chief Minister’s drought relief fund.

Bombay HC refuses to stay IPL match on Apr 9, raps Maha govt

Bombay HC refuses to stay IPL match on Apr 9, raps Maha govt
Bombay HC refuses to stay IPL match on Apr 9, raps Maha govt

The Bombay High Court today declined to stay the IPL opening match on April 9 here as sought by a public interest litigation challenging use of large quantity of water for maintaining pitches despite the grave water crisis in Maharashtra due to drought. The PIL, filed by Loksatta Movement, sought shifting of IPL matches out of Maharashtra and wanted a stay on the matches scheduled in other cities in the state as well in view of the water crisis.

A bench of Justices V M Kanande and M S Karnik, however, said that it was not staying the match on April 9 as it wanted to know from the state government and the municipal body whether the water supplied to the stadiums in tankers was potable or non-potable. The court was of the opinion that until this query is answered, the issue of granting stay cannot be considered. “The petition is filed just before the IPL matches are to begin from April 9…we do not propose to grant a stay at this stage…we want to know the source of water supplied to the cricket grounds for maintaining the pitches”, the bench observed in its order.

The Judges also asked the state government and the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai to file separate affidavits by April 12, stating whether the water supplied to stadiums during the IPL matches was potable or non-potable. The Judges also asked both the authorities to inform whether they had formulated any policy for supply of potable and non-potable water to Mumbai, Thane, Kalyan and other cities in Maharashtra.

The bench also sought to know from the state and the civic body whether any contingency plans had been drawn in case of further scarcity of water due to delayed monsoon this year. The Judges also asked the authorities to inform in their affidavits whether they had made any inquiries about the source of water supplied to the stadiums through tankers.

The bench also asked the authorities to inform whether they had imposed any restraint on use of water in marriages and receptions during April-May 2016 when the state was facing acute water scarcity. Earlier, rapping Maharashtra government, the bench said “this is a serious issue…the government needs to look at it seriously.” “People who have money can afford to have as much water as they can whereas in other places people are getting water once in three days…this is an anomaly,” Justice Kanade said.

ED seeks NBW against Lalit Modi after no response

ED seeks NBW against Lalit Modi after no response
ED seeks NBW against Lalit Modi after no response

The Enforcement Directorate on Monday moved a special court here seeking issuance of a non-bailable warrant (NBW) against former IPL chief Lalit Modi in a case of alleged money laundering registered against him.

The central agency approached the special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) Court after Modi, who has made London his home, did not respond to summons.

“We have moved the Court seeking issuance of an NBW as he has not responded to the summons sent by us earlier this month,” said an ED official.

ED had first issued summons to the controversial former cricket administrator through his India-based lawyer. However, his counsel returned the document to the agency, saying he was not authorised to receive it. Later the officials e-mailed the summons to Modi, who left India in 2010.

“We have received no communication from Modi or his lawyer after the summons was issued. Hence, we have moved the Court (for NBW),” the ED official said.

Last week, the court had issued letters rogatory (LR) to Singapore and Mauritius governments in the same case.

A letter rogatory is a formal request from a court in one country to a foreign court for judicial assistance in a case.

BCCI had registered an FIR in Chennai in 2010 against Modi and others under various provisions of IPC, while two years later ED filed a case under PMLA, in connection with a multi- crore rupees television rights deal of Indian Premier League (IPL).

The deal dates to 2008 when BCCI awarded the 10-year media rights for broadcasting IPL matches to World Sports Group (WSG) on payment of USD 918 million. The same year, WSG also entered into a deal with Multi Screen Media (MSM) to make Sony the official broadcaster of IPL matches. The contract was replaced a year later with a nine-year deal where MSM paid USD 1.63 billion.

ED stepped into this case in 2009 and began a probe under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) into allegations that a payment of Rs 425 crore was made as facilitation fees by MSM Singapore to WSG Mauritius in an alleged unauthorised manner.

IPL spot-fixing case : Court sets July 25 for framing charges

IPL spot-fixing case : Court sets July 25 for framing charges
IPL spot-fixing case : Court sets July 25 for framing charges

A court hearing the Indian Premier League (IPL) spot-fixing case on Monday set July 25 for framing charges in the matter.

Additional Sessions Judge Neena Bansal Krishna deferred till July 25 the court order on finalising the charges in the case.

The court also fixed July 13 for clarification if required in the matter.

Delhi Police on July 30, 2013, filed a charge sheet in the IPLspot-fixing case, alleging that absconding don Dawood Ibrahim and his aide Chhota Shakeel were behind the IPL spot-fixing scandal.

The formal set of charges, running into 6,000 pages, named cricketers S. Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan, among others, in the scandal related to the IPL-6 held in 2013.

The accused have been charged with the offences of cheating and conspiracy under various sections of the Indian Penal Code.

Dawood and Shakeel have been declared proclaimed offenders in the case after police completed the process of their property attachment.

Verma urges Asian Cricket Council to shun Srinivasan

shunThe unrecognised Cricket Association of Bihar Secretary Aditya Verma on Friday called on the Asian Cricket Council to bar N Srinivasan from heading the body, saying that allowing him to do so would be in violation of a Supreme Court order.

“…As on date Mr Srinivasan is debarred from functioning as the President of BCCI. If Mr Srinivasan is precluded from functioning as the President of BCCI because a probe panel has been constituted by the Hon`ble Supreme Court into the serious allegations made by the probe panel against him, the ACC cannot allow N Srinivsan as President of ACC,” Verma said in a statement.

“Any such permission will sully the image of ACC and will bring disrepute to ACC and the BCCI would be made a laughing stock… If a person is not fit to hold the post of President of the BCCI then the said person should be unfit to hold office of ACC President,” he added.

Srinivasan has been forced to step aside as BCCI President on the directions of the Supreme Court in the wake of the ongoing probe into the IPL spot-fixing and betting scandal.

(Source: PTI)

SC to open judge’s report on RCA poll Jan 27

aaFormer Indian Premier League (IPL) czar Lalit Modi will have to wait a little longer to know the outcome of elections to the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) as the Supreme Court Friday adjourned the hearing and directed the listing of the matter to Jan 27.

A bench of Justice Anil R. Dave and Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar, which was to open the envelope that contained the results and the report of Justice N.M. Kasliwal under whose supervision the polls were held, said the court would open it Jan 27.

As Indian cricket’s apex body, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) urged the apex court to hear it before opening the envelope and declaring the result, the court said it would first see the results and if Modi wins, then before declaring the results, it would hear the BCCI otherwise there would be no need.

As the BCCI counsel pressed for the board’s plea to be heard, the court wondered if Modi was so powerful that he would certainly get elected.

The court said it would hear all matters Jan 27.

The RCA election became controversial after Modi joined the race for the post of the president of the state’s cricketing body.

The BCCI in September 2013 had imposed a life ban on Modi for alleged irregularities when he headed the IPL from 2008 to 2010.

The RCA elections were held Dec 19, 2013, under the watch of the apex court-appointed former judge NM Kasliwal.

(Source: IANS)

HC seeks centre’s response on IPL takeover plea

Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought the centre’s response to a PIL seeking a direction for the sports ministry to take over the Indian Premier League (IPL) by separating it from the Indian cricket board.

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice B.D. Ahmed and Justice Vibhu Bakhru asked the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Delhi Police to file their replies through affidavits by Oct 30.

The court’s direction came on a PIL filed by an NGO, Association for Social and Humanitarian Affairs, seeking direction for the ministry of taking control over the IPL by separating it from the BCCI in view of irregularities including spot-fixing in the cricket tournament.

The plea also sought the appointment of a judicial committee comprising retired judges, sports personalities and academicians to suggest stringent laws and by-laws in this regard.

The IPL spot-fixing scandal has led to a complete loss of faith in the management of the BCCI over the IPL, the plea said. The PIL further added that cricket was being exploited by the mafia to fund terrorists activities, damaging the game.

It alleged that cricket was being “misused, abused and is full of lacunae, illegalities”, affecting national pride and hurting the sentiments of people.

The NGO said: “The IPL’s model seems to be designed specifically to suit the requirements of the mafia to quickly and efficiently churn huge sums of money using the routes of hawala.”

“The strategic time out of two to three minutes while the game is being played is misused as being the only opportunity for interactions between the players and the bookies to influence the result of the match and session and thereby cheat the nation,” the petition said.

The Supreme Court and the Delhi High Court had earlier turned down a PIL seeking a ban on the IPL tournament.

On May 16, Delhi Police arrested three players in a post-midnight operation in Mumbai for spot-fixing in IPL matches for payments of up to Rs.60 lakh for giving away a pre-determined number of runs in an over.

(Source: IANS)

IPL spot fixing: Chandila sent to 3 days’ police custody

A Delhi court Monday sent suspended Rajasthan Royals player Ajit Chandila, arrested in connection with the IPL spot fixing scam, to three days’ police custody for interrogation.

Sending Chandila to police custody, Additional Sessions Judge Ajay Kumar Jain also posted for June 22 the bail pleas of the cricketer and five other accused.

“The matter is being investigated under the provision of Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA). The prosecution is to be given full chance to unearth the entire crime. The accused is remanded in 3 days of police custody,” said the judge.

Police sought fresh custody of Chandila saying he was required to corroborate evidence collected from other accused after invoking the stringent MCOCA law.

The court also directed the Delhi Police’s Special Cell to present Chandila before it on June 20.

The court also deferred the bail pleas of six accused including the cricketer after police told it that some vital confessional statements of the bookies arrested in the case have to be placed on record.

Public prosecutor Rajeev Mohan told the court that confessional statement of arrested bookie Sunil Bhatia is being recorded, while that of Ramesh Vyas, another bookie, has already been recorded.

Besides Chandila, the other accused who moved bail pleas are Vyas, Bhatia, Ashwani Aggarwal, Deepak Kumar, and ex-Ranji player Baburao Yadav.

The prosecutor had sought fresh five days police remand of Chandila saying that initially he was arrested in the case on May 16 and remained in police custody till May 28 after which he was remanded to judicial custody.

MCOCA has been invoked against Chandila on June 3, therefore his custody is required to corroborate the evidence collected after invocation of the stringent penal law, the prosecutor said during the hearing.

Mohan added: “For the purpose of investigating under MCOCA, accused Ajeet Chandila is required. He is found to be one of the main conspirators and his presence is required to unearth the deep rooted conspiracy of the organised crime being operated by underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and his aide Chhota Shakeel.”

According to police, during investigation, lot of supportive evidence like intercepted voice calls, two mobiles used by him (Chandila) in spot/match fixing and match fixing cash of Rs 20 lakhs. “…he was found receiving money from many bookies, fixers in lieu of spot fixing in the cricket match,” said police.

Police further claimed that the bookies who were in direct contact with the underworld have given money to Chandila to fix the players.

Police have opposed the bail pleas of Chandila and other five accused.

Delhi Police May 16 arrested three Rajasthan Royals players — S. Sreesanth, Chandila and Ankeet Chavan — on spot fixing charges. Subsequently, 25 others were arrested.

The other 21 accused, including Sreesanth and Chavan, have already been granted bail by the court.