BCCI's two-member panel begins probe

BCCI's two-member panel begins probe

Procedures for investigation discussed in meeting with Board

BCCI's two-member panel begins probe

The enquiry into the betting and spot-fixing scandals during the IPL VI officialy began on Friday with the two judges holding preliminary round of discussions with the Board of Control for Cricket India.

Ratnakar Shetty, BCCI’s General Manager (Game Development), met the two judges -- Justice T Jayaram Chouta and R Balasubramanian -- and discussed the ‘preferred mode of operation’ during their investigation. It was also the first meeting between Chouta and Balasubramanian, former judges of Karnataka and Madras High Courts, after they were appointed by the BCCI on May 28 to get to the bottom of the allegations.

The probe panel’s first action would be to inquire into the charges against Gurunath Meiyappan -- son-in-law of BCCI President N Srinivasan, and also a top official of the Chennai Super Kings, India Cements -- owners of CSK, and Jaipur IPL Pvt Ltd, owners of Rajasthan Royals and its co-owner Raj Kundra. Both Meiyappan and Kundra have been suspended by the BCCI from taking part in any cricketing activities, pending enquiry.

“The procedures that the (enquiry) commission should follow and the rules and regulations were discussed,” said Shetty. “Explanations from the three — Gurunath Meiyappan, owners of CSK and Rajasthan Royals — were sought. They will all be given an opportunity to explain themselves in person by the commission,” Shetty said. He added that Chouta has been named the chairman of the panel.

Shetty and the Board’s legal team had met Chouta on June 15 here to hand over the necessary documents that included the preliminary findings of Ravi Savani, head of BCCI’s anti-corruption wing. The commission which was initially constituted as a three-member panel was reconstituted to a two-member panel on June 10 following the resignation of Sanjay Jagdale as BCCI secretary.

PIL filed

The Cricket Association of Bihar has filed a PIL in Bombay High Court against constitution of a panel on spot-fixing by the then Board chief N Srinivasan, alleging it was an “exercise” to “cover up” the activities of Meiyappan.

It was mentioned on Thursday before a bench headed by Chief Justice Mohit Shah who recused himself from hearing the matter. The PIL will now come up before another bench in due course, High Court sources said.

The petition alleged blatant bias exercised by Srinivasan in the light of mounting allegations against himself and in constituting the probe panel as he is the vice-chairman and Managing Director of India Cements Ltd which owns the IPL team “Chennai Super Kings”.

The PIL urged the Court to direct BCCI to recall its order constituting the probe panel and instead set up a panel of retired judges as it may deem fit to hold inquiry, while also urging that disciplinary proceedings be initiated against Srinivasan and he may be directed to vacate the office of BCCI President and President of Tamil Nadu Cricket Association.

The petition also prayed for a direction to restrain Srinivasan from contesting the post of BCCI President in future and representing BCCI in the ICC.