Pawar hits out against probe panel

Last Updated 21 April 2014, 20:58 IST

Former BCCI chief Sharad Pawar wants Justice J N Patel, who is part of a three-man probe panel set up by the Board to investigate the IPL corruption scandal, to come clean on his reported links with the body’s interim President Shivlal Yadav.

He also deprecated the presence of former India captain Ravi Shastri on the inquiry committee, citing conflict of interest.

“I think Patel should definitely disclose if he is related to the BCCI’s interim president Shivlal Yadav. If not, then BCCI should clarify and should not allow these type of discussions,” Pawar told PTI in an interview.

The names of the former Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court, Shastri and ex-CBI director R K Raghavan were approved by the Board members at an emergent working committee on Sunday.

Their names would be submitted for approval of the SC with the next hearing scheduled for Tuesday. “I don’t know him (Patel) personally, but I think it is his duty to disclose if this news (information) is correct,” Pawar said.

“This morning, I got a call from some BCCI member that there is a judge J N Patel. I know he was a very upright judge when he was here. He had taken very tough responsibilities and had performed very well. But the issue which I was not aware of. Somebody rang me up from Andhra Pradesh this morning, saying the BCCI’s interim president Shivlal Yadav and Patel are close relatives. Brother-in-law or something like that. I don’t know.”

“If the news is correct, then the people will judge. Generally, I have seen many times (that) a judge, if there is some lawyer who is close to him is there, will immediately recuse himself from the case,” Pawar said. “I am sure that knowing fully well Justice Patel’s reputation, he will not allow this type of a thing,” he added.

Pawar also questioned the eligibility of Shastri to be a member of the probe panel because of the conflict of interest issue as the player-turned-commentator has got a financial contract with BCCI.

“Ravi Shastri is a good player. In fact, when I was BCCI chief (2005-08), we signed a contract with him and Sunil Gavaskar. So, he had a financial contract with BCCI. Now, someone says how can a person who has got a financial contract with BCCI, become part of an inquiry committee of BCCI chief,” he said.

“I have no reservation about Shastri’s integrity, his honesty. But definitely, anybody can raise the issue. And that is why, a sensible person will try to keep away from this (probe panel).”

Asked if Shastri should dissociate himself, Pawar said, “He has a financial contract (with BCCI). That is not the case with Patel.”

On allegations against former IPL chief Lalit Modi and embattled BCCI chief N Srinivasan, who has been ordered by the SC to step aside when the IPL probe is on, Pawar said, “I don’t think Modi has done any harm. Unfortunately, about Srinivasan, I haven’t got any details.”

(Published 21 April 2014, 20:58 IST)

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