Mumbai police rubbishes BCCI committee claim

Mumbai police rubbishes BCCI committee claim

'Panel does not have legal sanctity'

Mumbai police rubbishes BCCI committee claim

Mumbai police probing the IPL betting scandal rejected the charge of not cooperating with the BCCI panel that looked into spot and match-fixing allegations in the IPL, saying its investigating officer could not depose before it for want of legal provisions.

The denial comes a day after a two-member panel that probed the allegations against BCCI’s ‘president in exile’ N Srinivasan’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, India Cements Ltd, which owns IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings, and Jaipur IPL Pvt Ltd, owner of Rajasthan Royals, gave them all-clean chit on account of lack of evidence of wrongdoing.

A senior crime branch officer said that the BCCI panel had on June 28 asked Mumbai police in writing to send its investigating officer to depose before it.

“We sought to know under which procedure we should send our IO for deposition before a private panel,” the officer said speaking on condition of anonymity.

Under the CrPC, an officer investigating in a case is answerable only to the court, he said.

The Mumbai Police, in response to the BCCI’s request had on July 5 written a letter to its General Manager RS Shetty, which read, “Through your letter on June 28, you had requested to depute an officer conversant with the investigation of the case to be present before the probe commission constituted by BCCI.

“As the case is still under investigation, you are requested to quote relevant legal provisions under which the investigation or any other officer from the investigation agency can be called before the probe commission,” it said.

The crime branch officer said since there was no response from the BCCI
to the Mumbai police’s letter, the question of non-cooperation does not arise.

Mumbai Joint Police Commissioner (Crime) Himanshu Roy said, “The BCCI panel does not have legal sanctity and an investigation officer can depose only before a competent court. Also, BCCI’s letter got delayed. Though the letter was dated June 28, it was delivered to us on July 4 and the next day, we had responded to it.”

Apart from deposition of the investigating officer, if the BCCI had sought probe details, they would have considered the request, he added.

“We could have shared some evidence that would not affect our probe,” said Roy, under whose supervision the IPL betting case is being probed.

In its letter to the Mumbai Police Commissioner on June 28, the BCCI had stated, “The BCCI has filed complaint before the Commission (the cricket board’s panel) charging Mr Gurunath Meiyappan of conduct which has brought disrepute to the game and to IPL. In support of this complaint, we have filed various news reports which in turn cite police sources as the basis for their published information.”

The letter further stated, “We request you to kindly depute an officer of rank who is conversant with the investigation along with relevant records to be present on the 7th of July 2013 at Hotel ITC Gardenia, Bangalore so that the Commission can gather the full details and record the facts as to found out by your department. The BCCI will be happy to bear all costs.”

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