IPL news March 7, 2014

SC to hear IPL corruption case on March 25


Ugra: 'Chennai Super Kings more equal than others'

The Supreme Court has deferred to March 25 the hearing on the case relating to corruption in the IPL, including arguments over the findings of the Mudgal Commission report, which was submitted to the court on February 10.

The BCCI, one of the respondents in the case, had requested the court to keep to itself the contents of a sealed envelope handed over by the Mudgal committee to the two-judge bench of AK Patnaik and JS Khehar. The report said the committee had come across "many allegations of sporting fraud" and had forwarded the allegations in the sealed envelope - to be opened and read only by the judges - "in view of the sensitive nature of the information being provided".

The BCCI's submission was that the court not divulge the contents of the envelope as such a step could potentially cause "damage to the "reputation" of cricketers and the BCCI.

"It is most humbly submitted that the material contained in the sealed cover remain with the Hon'ble Court and not be released to the parties," the BCCI's submission said.

"Speculative and baseless charges against leading cricketers have already been made by unscrupulous news channels under the guise of "Sting Operations". Speculation is rife that the sealed cover contains names of some current member of the National Team. The Hon'ble Court would kindly take steps to staunch any further damage to the image under reputation of innocent cricketers and the BCCI by passing appropriate orders and thereby render justice," the BCCI said.

In the 33-page response, the BCCI agreed with the most of the recommendations made by the Mudgal committee. There were two notable objections: One, that the IPL be run as a standalone commercial entity with a governing body formed by franchise representatives, BCCI members, broadcasters and independent professional directors. The BCCI disagreed, saying it was not prudent to have members on the governing body who were not part of the BCCI and who may have "representative interests other than the aims and objectives of the BCCI".
Another important recommendation it rejected was to avoid employment of players by the companies owning the franchises they played for.

The three-member committee, led by former High Court judge Mukul Mudgal, concluded that Gurunath Meiyappan, son-in-law of N Srinivasan, BCCI president and owner of Chennai Super Kings, had indulged in betting and passing information during matches in last year's IPL as alleged. The inquiry panel also said that Meiyappan was actually part of the Super Kings franchise at the time and not just an "enthusiast" as claimed by Srinivasan.

The panel also pulled up Raj Kundra, a co-owner in the Rajasthan Royals franchise, for "resorting to" placing bets through a bookie, who had made statements to a Delhi court earlier.

Last July, a two-member BCCI-appointed panel comprising a pair of retired judges (T Jayaram Chouta and R Balasubramanian) had found "no evidence of any wrongdoing" on the part of Gurunath and Kundra. However, the Mudgal panel pointed out that the question of whether or not Gurunath had been involved in match-fixing and spot-fixing "not been investigated thoroughly" by the anti-corruption units of the ICC and the BCCI or the Crime Branch Criminal Investigation Department of the Chennai police, "even though some information was available for such an investigation to be conducted."

Gurunath had already admitted to betting in his statement to the Mumbai Police, which had originally arrested him last year. His recorded statement was part of the Mumbai Police chargesheet. The audiotapes have not been submitted to the court yet because they have gone for forensic testing.

The other two members of the Mudgal panel are additional solicitor general L Nageswara Rao and Assam Cricket Association member Nilay Dutta. The panel was set up by the Supreme Court in October 2013 to conduct an independent inquiry into the allegations of corruption against Gurunath, the Super Kings team owner India Cements, and Rajasthan Royals team owner Jaipur IPL Cricket Private Ltd, as well as with the larger mandate of allegations around betting and spot-fixing in IPL matches and the involvement of players.

The case dates back to last June when the Cricket Association of Bihar secretary Aditya Verma raised charges of conflict of interest in the formation of BCCI's two-member inquiry panel. A Bombay High Court ruling later termed the probe panel "illegal". The BCCI and the CAB filed petitions in the Supreme Court against this order, with the CAB contending that the Bombay High Court could have suggested a fresh mechanism to look into the corruption allegations.

Story updated on March 7 to reflect SC's decision to defer the hearing

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Richard on March 8, 2014, 6:28 GMT

    In my opinion, cricket is rotten to the core. Having watched the intensity of the recently concluded Australia vs. South Africa series, I would like to ask to which Indian batsman did Dale Steyn, Mornie Morkel and the others bowl to like they did to Australian batsman. Further, I would like to ask why South Africa didn't go for the kill when they had the Indians with their back to the wall. Is it just because that since India generates most of the money that the rest of the cricketing world suckers up to them? Speak up guys - if you put the real crooks behind bars, cricket might be worth watching again.

  • Dummy4 on March 7, 2014, 9:58 GMT

    I used to enjoy WWF when I was a kid. Not now. It is no fun watching a match without doubts about match fixing. Having grown up as adults, we cannot make up our minds and beleive the world is rosy and enjoy it without a bit of a suspicion. If we can enjoy it such, then a cricket video game can suffice us. We want strongly competition from either side. We need real honorable cricket matches. IPL is one of my favorite tournaments. Eliminate the cheating players and make IPL clean as soon as possible. IPL is India's pride. Cricket's pride in this world of other richer sports like Football, Basketball and Baseball.

  • Dummy4 on March 7, 2014, 8:22 GMT

    I bet this can go on for ever without a final verdict!

  • Gopi on March 7, 2014, 7:44 GMT

    Hope players named,are suspended and action intiated against both teams..bcci should show enthusiasm shown while framing sreeshanth and co...

  • Dummy4 on March 7, 2014, 6:58 GMT

    for the wrong doing of a few indivdualistic financial interests agreat sport is being malinged a sport loved by nearly 70% of the indias populace please stop this nonsense from going any further and let people enjoy and be entertained

  • VINEETH on March 7, 2014, 6:21 GMT

    If Sreesanth's image can be destroyed without finding him being guilty, why the same is not applicable for Dhoni and other cricketers ???? I doubt whether we are living in a democratic country ... Hope cricinfo will publish this.

  • VINEETH on March 7, 2014, 6:19 GMT

    If Sreesanth's image can be destroyed without finding him being guilty, why the same is not applicable for Dhoni and other cricketers ????

  • Daniel on March 7, 2014, 5:56 GMT

    SC should take strict action against CSK and RR both. Banning these franchises would be just the ideal step towards cleaning Indian Cricket. I hope they are not just left aside facing monetary charges by the Apex Court. Only SC can save cricket in India now!

  • Dummy4 on March 7, 2014, 5:33 GMT

    What's the big deal if out of so many matches played today a few are fixed? Come on guys! BCCI is only requesting the Honourable SC to hush up information which may, no matter how true they are, harm the reputations of respectable cricketers and administrators. I find logic in their request. If big names are pulled up, who will play the cricket and who will run it? We can not survive without cricket. For the time being fixed ones are on the menu, so be it. No more fuss please - let's all watch IPL and enjoy. I have never seen so many enthusiasts (no pun intended), across all ages and all spheres of life, watching cricket as it is played in IPL. Nobody has the right to bereave us from our enjoyment, the entertainment. Haven't you ever seen WWF? Let's grow up.

  • Sagar on March 7, 2014, 2:05 GMT

    Can SC kick out both CSK and srinivasan out of cricket?.if it happens atleast some changes may come in indian cricket

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