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SC refuses to ban IPL, slams cricket board on spot-fixing

New Delhi, May 21, 2013 (IANS)
Activists of Kalinga Sena, a local political party, hold placards as they burn a poster of Indian cricketer Shanthakumaran Sreesanth at a protest against spot fixing during the Indian Premier League (IPL) in Bhubaneswar, Friday, May 17, 2013. A fourth player has been suspended by the Board of Control for Cricket after authorities said Friday he was among the bookmakers arrested by police along with three other cricketers, including Sreesanth, for alleged spot-fixing in a domestic Twenty20 league tournament. AP Photo

Refusing to ban the remaining IPL matches, the Supreme Court Tuesday slammed the Indian cricket control board saying that spot-fixing incidents had taken place due to its lackadaisical approach to reining in erring players.

An apex court bench of Justice B.S. Chauhan and Justice Dipak Misra said it was incumbent upon the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to "maintain and sustain" the reputation of the 125-year-old game.

"The whole problem is the lackadaisical attitude (of the BCCI) and it must stop," said Justice Misra in a terse observation, adding that there had to be a "rational, objective and absolutely dispassionate" approach in dealing with irregularities.
At the outset of the hearing, the court took exception to the prayer of petitioner Sudarsha Avasthi seeking a ban on the rest of the IPL matches in the wake of the spot-fixing controversy.

Due to a few errant players the entire game can't be banned, Justice Chauhan said wondering under what provisions it was permissible (for the court) to ban the cricket tournament.

"Because something (spot fixings) has happened, so what is going on should be banned? How can we ban a game," asked Justice Chauhan.

"Suppose there is a deficiency or some wrong has taken place, should it be banned," he questioned.

Justice Chauhan asked Avasthi's counsel Vishnu Shanker Jain if legal practice be banned, if complaints were filed against a few lawyers.

The court also directed a one-man commission, headed by former director general of police Ravi Sawhney, probing spot-fixing in the IPL to submit its report within 15 days and asked the BCCI to act upon its findings according to its rules.

The court also took note of the submission by senior counsel Ranjit Kumar, appearing for the BCCI, that since the spot-fixing controversy surfaced a team of the anti-corruption unit of the BCCI was accompanying all the IPL teams so that "if there is any aberration that can be nipped in the bud".


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