SC proposes Srini removal, barring CSK, RR from IPL 7

SC proposes Srini removal, barring CSK, RR from IPL 7
In a move that is bound to shake up Indian cricket establishment, the Supreme Court today proposed replacing BCCI President N Srinivasan with former cricketer Sunil Gavaskar and barring his team Chennai Super Kings (CSK) along with Rajasthan Royals (RR) from IPL 7 till it decides the case of betting and spot fixing scandal.

The court, which will pass its order tomorrow, has also sought keeping away any person associated with  Sinivasan- promoted India Cements, the owner of CSK, from being involved in the functioning of the BCCI.

The Supreme Court's observations that will show the door for Srinivasan also came on a day when senior counsel Harish Salve attacked India captain Mahinder Singh Dhoni, accusing him of being "guilty of corrupt practice" by lying before the Mudgal Committee on the role of the BCCI President's son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan in CSK.

The statement of Dhoni, who is also the Vice President of India Cements, before the Committee that Meiyappan had no role in the CSK was a "cover up" that amounted to a corrupt practice.

A two-judge bench comprising justices A K Patnaik and F M Ibrahim Kalifulla made the proposals when it took up Mudgal Committtee's report into the alleged betting and spot fixing during last year's IPL.

"In the place of Srinivasan, we propose to appoint an experienced cricket player like Sunil Gavaskar to replace him and function as BCCI president," the bench said.

It said that it will pass an interim order tomorrow and asked BCCI counsel to take instructions from the Board.

The apex court, however, said that at this moment it was not removing anybody and the matches of IPL 7 will go on.

The bench suggested barring CSK and RR from this year's IPL, slated to start on April 16 in Dubai, as their players and team officials have been suspected of involvement scandal by police and the three-member probe panel headed by former Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal.

The bench also proposed to pass an order barring India Cements officials from getting involved with the functioning of BCCI after Salve, appearing for Cricket Association of Bihar, pointed out that many such officials were part of BCCI.

After going through the contents of a report filed in a sealed cover by its probe panel into the scandal, the apex court had said there are "very very serious" allegations made in the report and unless the BCCI President steps down, no fair probe can be conducted.

"In our opinion, Srinivasan has to step down if proper probe is to be done in the case," the bench had adding "If you would not step down, we will pass the verdict."

Trying to control the damage, the BCCI today placed before the bench a copy of its proposal in which it assured the court that disciplinary action will be immediately taken on the basis of Mudgal Committee report.

It also said that it is in favour of further investigation in the scandal as proposed by the panel.
The bench said it will take not of the proposal while passing the order.

The apex court-appointed panel had said Meiyappan's role in Chennai Super Kings (CSK) as the team official and his involvement in betting during the IPL matches stands proved.

The report of the committee, however, said allegations of fixing against Meiyappan require further investigation and also left it to the Supreme Court the issue of conflict of interest against Srinivasan, who heads India Cements that owns CSK.

"The role of Gurunath Meiyappan in CSK as the team official stands proved and the allegations of betting and passing of information against Meiyappan stand proved," the report said .

The over 100-page report went into various issues like suspected involvement of six India-capped players in fixing, betting allegations against Rajasthan Royals owners and the need to bring discipline in players.

The three-member committee has named in its report six prominent "Indian capped" players, including one who is part of the current team and that portion of report was filed in a sealed envelop.

Under the Franchise Agreement and IPL's anti-corruption code, CSK runs the risk of facing disciplinary action including ban for the acts of Meiyappan, who was its Team Principal, for bringing the game into disrepute.

"The committee is of the view that the material on record clearly indicates that Meiyappan was the face of CSK and the team official of CSK," the report has said, while rejecting Srinivasan's contention that he was merely a cricket enthusiast.

The Board had earlier said that "speculative and baseless" charges against leading cricketers have been made by "unscrupulous" news channels and the apex court must pass an order to prevent any further damage to the image and reputation of "innocent" cricketers. 
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