Six astonishing lines from the Mudgal report
The report of the IPL Probe Committee, headed by Justice Mukul Mudgal, revealed some insights into the workings of the IPL that need to be read to be believed
- Nebulous ownership: The Committee in relation to IPL franchisees in general and Mr. Meiyappan in particular questioned Mr. Sundar Raman as to who an owner of a team is, to which he replied that the ownership structures of teams are in general ambiguous. Mr. Raman further stated that the term "owner" for the purpose of accreditation is loosely used and has no implication, while identifying an owner under the franchise agreement. He further stated that the status of an ultimate owner is not clear, but may be read as per the Franchise Agreement. Mr. Raman also admitted that the IPL Governing Council had not made any effort to determine who the ultimate owners of the franchisees were.
- Gurunath's role: Representatives of India Cements, who appeared before the Committee, contended that Mr. Meiyappan had no share holding in India Cements and hence cannot be considered as an owner of CSK. Further, Mr. MS Dhoni, Mr. N Srinivasan and officials of India Cements took the stand that Mr. Meiyappan, had nothing to do with the cricketing affairs of Chennai Super Kings and was a mere cricket enthusiast supporting CSK.
- Kundra on betting: The Delhi Police further informed us on interrogation they gathered that Mr. Raj Kundra, being a UK citizen believed betting to be legal in India. However, the Committee finds the stand taken by Mr. Kundra unbelievable and needless to state ignorance of the law and the relevant regulations cannot be a ground to escape liability by Mr. Kundra.
- Sarcastic reply: The Committee however posed a specific query to him [Kundra] in relation to his confessional statement made before the Delhi Police under Section 161 of the Criminal Procedure Code, which was subsequently withdrawn by him, wherein he had admitted to betting in the IPL. In response Mr. Kundra stated, that he had made the purported confession under Section 161, only while responding to a query from the Delhi Police, wherein he was informed that his friend Mr. Goenka had made a statement stating that Mr. Kundra was in the habit of betting. Mr. Kundra told us that while he was responding to the police, he said that "If Umesh Goenka has said it, it must be true", which was in fact a sarcastic statement made by Mr. Kundra and felt that it was highly unethical for it to be released to the press, by Delhi Police. Mr. Kundra told us that he consequently withdrew the statements made under Section 161 of CPC.
- Who knew in ACU? It is abundantly clear that as per the Anti-Corruption Code the scope of investigation of the BCCI's ACU was wider. In so far ACSU of ICC is concerned Mr. Y.P. Singh informed the Committee that information was available with Mr. N.S. Virk whereas Mr. Virk stated that the information if any was available with Mr. Y.P. Singh.
- Gurunath's role, Pt 2: The Committee is of the view that Mr. Meiyappan was accredited/authorised (though implicit at times) by the Franchise Owner i.e. India Cements, to participate and be present when various crucial decisions were taken in relation to CSK. One such example of authorisation is, the fact that India Cements themselves forwarded accreditation requests for Mr. Meiyappan, every year for the last six seasons, requesting for grant of accreditation access cards in the name of Mr. Meiyappan under different nomenclatures (i.e. Owner and Management).
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