New panel to take call on Kundra, Meiyappan
A newly-formed committee will decide on the punishment to be imposed on Raj Kundra and Gurunath Meiyappan, both of whom were found guilty of betting by the Supreme Court. The court said that "the order passed by the committee shall be final and binding upon the BCCI and the parties concerned."
Headed by former Chief Justice of India RM Lodha and including former Supreme Court judges Ashok Bhan and RV Raveendran, the committee will also examine the role of former IPL chairman Sundar Raman "and if found guilty, impose a suitable punishment upon him on behalf of BCCI".
The court said that it contemplated whether to impose suitable punishment itself or leave it to the BCCI, but decided that "neither of these two courses would be appropriate". The formation of an independent committee, the judgment said, was to ensure the transparency of investigation and address "any apprehension of bias and/or influence".
"We do not consider it proper to clutch at the jurisdiction of BCCI to impose a suitable punishment," the order said. "At the same time we do not think that in a matter like this the award of a suitable punishment to those liable for such punishment can be left to the BCCI.
"The trajectory of the present litigation, and the important issues it has raised as also the profile of the individuals who have been indicted, would, in our opinion, demand that the award of punishment for misconduct is left to an independent committee to exercise that power for and on the behalf of BCCI."
Apart from investigating the roles of the three individuals, the committee has been asked to make recommendations and suggest amendments to the processes followed by the board "with a view to preventing sporting frauds, conflict of interests, streamlining the working of BCCI to make it more responsive to the expectations of the public at large".
A grey area that the court has suggested the committee to examine and resolve is the conflict of interest in case of "persons, who by virtue of their proficiency in the game, were to necessarily play some role as coaches, managers, commentators."
The court also directed the board to bear the fees and all the expenses of the committee, and hoped the investigations could be concluded "within a period of six months".