The Supreme Court indicated on Tuesday that judgement orders around the 2013 IPL corruption case will be announced at various stages, in keeping with the varied nature of findings on individuals probed by the Mudgal committee. The findings pertain to the involvement of IPL individuals in betting, acts of omission at an executive level in the IPL, and conflict of interest issues around the sidelined BCCI president N Srinivasan.
At the fourth hearing of the matter, the counsel for the Cricket Association of Bihar (CAB) provided the court with documentation proving Gurunath Meiyappan's involvement in the Chennai Super Kings franchise, and asked that the Mudgal committee report be made public.
The special bench of Justice TS Thakur and Justice FM Kalifullah said, "The case may have different stages and we don't know what kind of orders we will be passing during the course of the proceedings. We may pass several orders depending on how we proceed in the matter. We will decide on making the entire report public at an appropriate stage."
Harish Salve, who appeared for the CAB on Tuesday, made a two-hour argument and said that the names of all the individuals involved in the case should be made public because names of players were in any case being "maligned" through speculation on the electronic media. Releasing the entire report would ensure that the names of the players cleared will also conclusively be known, he said.
Salve highlighted facts established in the first Mudgal committee report pertaining to nature of Gurunath's role with the Super Kings franchise, and alleged that Srinivasan had been involved in a "cover up" with regard to that role following Gurunath's arrest by the Mumbai Police in May 2013. Salve also handed over a document containing correspondence between the Super Kings franchise and the BCCI, containing a list of those who required accreditation for the IPL, in which Gurunath's name is mentioned as that of a Super Kings "owner". The court said even if Gurunath was leaking information about his team to another individual who was betting, "it is like insider trading".
Salve said that governing of cricket was a public function and the team under the BCCI's mandate was "not a BCCI team, but an Indian team". He said that because Srinivasan "discharges a public function as BCCI chief" he had to be open to "judicial review". He asked the court to, "enforce the rigour of their [the BCCI's] own rules on them". He said, "Which private body sets up an anti-corruption body unless it feels there will be corruption?" He pointed out that while the BCCI's own constitution had rules of transparency and accountability in place, it did not take action in that regard when required. "They [the BCCI] will have to keep their own standards of transparency and cleaning a house," he said.
The hearing resumes on Thursday, November 27, and once Salve has concluded his arguments, the counsel for Gurunath, Raj Kundra and Srinivasan will be allowed to make their case. Appearing for Kundra, Shekhar Naphade said that he had made an application to access all the material that led to Kundra's indictment in the Mudgal report, in order to formulate a full reply. Nephade used the words "cryptic" and "inherently flawed" to describe the report. Gurunath's lawyer Siddharth Luthra made a similar request in order to formulate a full response.
It is expected that arguments over releasing the entire Mudgal committee report will come up once again at the next hearing. There is a very good chance the case will go into its third week, following the submission of the Mudgal committee report in early November.