On Gurunath Meiyappan

Facing criminal charges and a judicial custody for a period of about 10 days rather shows the seriousness of the misconduct committed by him. His habit of regularly placing bets in IPL matches renders the argument of his being first offender and unblemished antecedents in previous IPL tournaments of no worth.

That he lost up to Rs 60 lakhs in bets shows that he engaged himself in heavy bets. It is his bad luck that he did not make money out of these bets. Any agony suffered by him because of media coverage or any hardship that may have been caused to him is too small in comparison to the huge injury he caused to the reputation and image of the game, IPL and BCCI. If the reputation and image of the sport are lost, what remains? Being 40 years of age, he is not young but middle-aged. It is difficult to accept that he has passion for the game...

The committee imposes following sanctions:

  • He is declared ineligible for participation in the sport of cricket as explained in the anti-corruption code for a maximum of five years under article 2.2.1

  • He is suspended for life from the activities as explained in Article 7.5 under Level 4 ( first offence ) of Article 2.4 of the Code of conduct

  • He is suspended for life from being involved in any type of cricket matches under Section 6, rule 4.2(b) read with (j) of the Operational Rules.

Raj Kundra As part owner, having 11.4% of share-holding by his family and investment vehicle, and team official, Raj Kundra was required to conduct himself in comformity with the rules, regulations and codes framed by the BCCI. Being UK citizen, he had heavy responsibility on him to ensure that his acts and actions were not in conflict with the laws of a foreign country. Betting is a crime punishable under the Indian Penal Code. Besides that, it is an offence, corrupt practice under the BCCI's rules regulations and codes. With so much of information available online, it is very difficult to accept that as a UK citizen, he believed betting to be legal in India. It is no secret that some of the players of the Rajasthan Royals of which he was the team official were found enmeshed in a web of match fixing . When a part owner (team official) indulges in corrupt practices, unsavoury individuals and bad elements become bold enough to involve vulnerable elements including players in all sorts of corruption. The findings by the Hon Supreme Court of the acts of betting have affected the image of the BCCI, IPL and the game of cricket and brought each one of them to disrepute and involvement in betting by team officials is against the spirit of the game, reflect the grave nature of misconduct he is found to be involved with.

Sanctions:

  • He is declared ineligible from participation in the sport of cricket as explained in Anti Corrupton Code for the maximum period of 5 years under Article 2.2.1

  • He is suspended for life from activities as explained in Article 7.5 under Level 4 ( first offence ) of Article 2.4 of the Code of Conduct.

  • He is suspended for life from being involved with the BCCI in any type of cricket matches under Section 6, rule 4.2(b) read with (j) of the Operational Rules.

On India Cements
Moreover, Mr Gurunath Meiyappan was in the position of owner. He is the son-in-law of Mr N Srinivasan, managing director of India Cements, which is a franchise of the team CSK, and Mr Gurunath Meiyappan was considered to be the face of the owner due to his actions. Therefore, offences of the persons who are the face representative of the owner would have to be considered as acts of the owner for the purpose of the operational rules with reference to IPL league matches and consequently the actions of such persons which bring the game, BCCI into disrepute.

Not only that no urgent action was taken by India Cements against Gurunath Meiyappan but as a matter of fact no action has been shown to have been taken against him. The order of suspension passed by the BCCI against Gurunath Meiyappan after his arrest is not an action by India Cements against its official. The plea by India Cements regarding long history to contribution of cricket and cricketers cannot be accepted in view of the fact due to the act of Gurunath Meiyappan, team official of CSK who happened to be son-in-law of Mr N Srinivasan, MD of India Cements, the then BCCI president the purity of the game has been affected and the contribution if any made by the franchise has also been wasted because millions of people, true lovers of the game feel cheated. Moreover, disrepute has been brought to cricket, BCCI and IPL to such an extent that doubts abound in the public consciousness about whether games are clean or not.

Having regard to the findings recorded by the Hon'ble Supreme Court and on taking into consideration all relevant facts and circumstances as noted and discussed above, the Committee proposes to impose sanction on India Cements Ltd (Franchisee) under Section 6,rule 4.2(c) of the Operational Rules by suspending it from the League for a period of two years. The period of suspension shall commence from the date of this order.

On Jaipur IPL Cricket Private Limited
Mr Raj Kundra was indeed part owner and also team official and therefore for the purpose of operational rules with reference to IPL matches Mr Raj Kundra's actions that brought the game, the BCCI and the IPL into disrepute have to be considered actions of the franchise. We do not think that Jaipur IPL can shirk its responsibility by terming the acts done by Mr Raj Kundra as having been done in his personal capacity. If those who indulge in corrupt practices forbidden by the rules of the game are an integral part of the franchise in view of their accreditation, part ownership, close relationship and also being team official, the argument that these acts were personal and as a consequence of them if the image of the game, the BCCI and the league got affected, the franchise cannot be held responsible does not merit acceptance. Such a technical approach is legally unsustainable because of the very nature of relationship between the franchise and the wrongdoer.

The general omissions by all franchises found in the ACSU report deserve various attention by the BCCI but in so far as Jaipur IPL is concerned its omissions are grave in as much as its part owner and team official have been found to have indulged in betting and that has affected the image of the game, the BCCI and the league and brought each one of them into disrepute. Jaipur IPL claims that it is highly celebrates as nursery for players but the fact remains that three RR players were arrested and charged with spot-fixing in the 2013 IPL season. The committee can also take notice of the fact that there has been allegation of approach to one of its players for corrupt practices in 2015 IPL season as well. This shows that all is not well with Jaipur IPL in handling anti-corruption issues. It is true that Mr Raj Kundra has relinquished his shares somewhere in the month of March but it is too late. No urgent action was taken by Jaipur IPL against Raj Kundra when his acts of betting became known. Once it is accepted that cricket is greater than individuals or a body of individuals and financial loss may be caused to a few players and franchises may not be a significant consideration while taking disciplinary action or for imposition of punishment for wrongdoing.

On consideration of all relevant aspects of the matter, the Committee imposes sanction on JIPL (Franchisee) under Section 6, rule 4.2(c) of the Operational Rules by suspending it from the League for a period of two years. The period of suspension shall commence from the date of this order.