India news January 5, 2016

BCCI defers decision on Chandila, Hiken Shah

Ajit Chandila was one of three players found guilty of alleged spot-fixing charges during the IPL 2013 corruption scandal © AFP

The BCCI has deferred its decision on possible sanctions against offspinner Ajit Chandila and batsman Hiken Shah until January 18. At a disciplinary committee meeting in Mumbai on Monday, the board also decided to give Pakistan umpire Asad Rauf more time to submit his written statement in response to the charges leveled against him in the IPL spot-fixing case.

Chandila was suspended by the BCCI when he was arrested in 2013 for alleged involement in corruption in the IPL, along with fellow Rajasthan Royals bowlers S Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Amit Singh. Hiken, on the other hand, was suspended by the board in July with immediate effect after he was found guilty of making an illegal approach to a player ahead of IPL 2015.

A statement from the BCCI stated that Hiken had appeared in person, "made [an] oral submission and a written reply to the findings of the Enquiry against him".

Hiken's lawyer Som Sinha told ESPNcricinfo that they were not satisfied with the enquiry. "We have filed written submissions on their showcause note. The meeting lasted hardly five minutes," Sinha said. "They have taken it on record. They have said they will revert.

"Basically we have mentioned we are not satisfied with the commissioner's [Ravi Sawani] enquiry, and that we haven't found anything that directly shows he [Hiken] is involved in any activity."

Chandila and Hiken faced a hearing on December 24 before members of the committee - BCCI president Shashank Manohar, Niranjan Shah and Jyotiraditya Scindia (on video conference) and the board's former Anti-Corruption Unit chief Ravi Sawani. The committee, while receiving Chandila's statements, had given Hiken time until January 4 to submit his written response to the BCCI.

Chandila, along with Chavan and Sreesanth, were also charged by the Delhi Police under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act, but were subsequently discharged by a trial court in July. In November, the Delhi High Court served notices to the trio after the Delhi Police challenged the trial court's ruling.

While bans were imposed on Sreesanth, Chavan and Amit, Chandila's case remained pending as Sawani did not have the opportunity to question him before the submission of his report.

There was further delay after Sawani eventually questioned Chandila in October 2013. Chandila sought additional time to respond to charges leveled against him. Chandila was eventually given time until March 12, 2014.

The anti-corruption unit inquiry found that Hiken had made an "exploratory approach". The BCCI did not name the first-class cricketer who was approached, but it is learnt that Hiken approached a Mumbai team-mate ahead of IPL 2015.

Rauf, meanwhile, had been included in the spot-fixing chargesheet as a "wanted accused", after he had left India during the IPL even as the Mumbai Police wanted to question him in person.

The umpire, though, has always maintained his innocence, calling for proof regarding the allegations of corruption against him.

Arun Venugopal is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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