Sidharth Monga is assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo; Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo
At least two members of the IPL governing council are unaware of when and how the three-man commission was selected to inquire into the complaints against the owners of Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, and Gurunath Meiyappan, N Srinivasan's son-in-law.
Two others in the eight-member governing council confirmed that even though a meeting wasn't convened to discuss the issue, their consent was taken over the phone before the decision was announced. They were not willing to divulge who called them for their consent.
The BCCI press release sent on May 28 said the IPL governing council had appointed the commission comprising Sanjay Jagdale and two retired high-court judges from Tamil Nadu. Jagdale has since resigned from the BCCI, and there are different versions emerging as to who actually appointed the three men.
IS Bindra, former BCCI president and currently Punjab Cricket Association chief, said it was appointed by a committee that consisted of IPL CEO Sundar Raman, BCCI's general manager (game development) Ratnakar Shetty, TNCA vice-president and BCCI lawyer PS Raman, and event-management firm IMG's Peter Griffiths. Bindra said Shetty told him that at the BCCI's working committee where Srinivasan agreed to step aside while the probe was on.
Ajay Shirke, who recently resigned as the BCCI treasurer, said he was given to understand that the commission would be appointed by the following people: Shirke himself, Jagdale, Ravi Shastri, IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla and BCCI vice-president Arun Jaitley. Two of those five were supposed to be part of the probe commission, Srinivasan had said in Kolkata, hours before the IPL final.
Shirke said that out of the blue he was told next day that he would be on the commission. Shirke said he duly declined. When the release finally arrived from "the IPL Governing Council", it had Jagdale on the commission. Jagdale has since said he never knew he was to be a part of the commission, and had asked to be excused from it.
Shirke didn't say, though, who put his name, and later Jagdale's, in the commission. Bindra said he tried to enquire about that during the working-committee meeting. "'Who made this committee,' I asked," Bindra said. "Srinivasan said, 'I don't know.' I asked Professor Shetty, and he said an operations committee named the probe panel. That committee consisted of Sundar Raman, Shetty, Peter Griffiths, and Raman."
Bindra then, speaking to a television channel, went on to point out Raman is the same lawyer that accompanied Gurunath to Mumbai hours before the latter was arrested. Bindra called Raman a personal lawyer of "Mr president". He even said that the commission was a "Sundar Raman-appointed panel".
Over the few years since the departure of Lalit Modi, Sundar Raman has emerged as Srinivasan's right-hand man in the board particularly when related to commercial property rights, broadcast production and coverage. He has even represented the BCCI at a chief executives' committee meeting at the ICC in 2011.
With Jagdale and Shirke both gone, the commission's future remains uncertain. Jagdale's replacement will have to be named by Jagmohan Dalmiya, the interim in-charge of the BCCI's day-to-day affairs, which will then have to be ratified by the working committee of the BCCI. Bindra, however, told ESPNcricinfo that the two judges will remain because Jaitley told him that removing them "will be a disrespect to the judges".