Justice Mudgal may head a new probe into cricket scam

Justice Mudgal may head a new probe into cricket scam

In a new turn in the IPL betting and match fixing probe, the Justice Mukul Mudgal Committee may conduct the inquiry against N Srinivasan and 12 others, including some prominent cricketers, after the Supreme Court today ignored a BCCI panel for the job.

"We have given our consent. It is subject to the Supreme Court approval on Tuesday (April 29)," said Justice Mudgal, who had headed a three-member committee that had submitted a report in a sealed envelope to the court  making serious allegations against Srinivasan and some capped players.

The consent of the panel headed by Mudgal, a retired Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court, was conveyed to the Committee's counsel Gopal Subramanium after the court had in the morning asked whether it would be willing to continue with its inquiry.

Mudgal told the media that once the court accepts their consent, the committee would sit and finalise the procedures of how to move forward and also decide whether any new member should be included.

During its earlier probe, Mudgal was assisted by Additional Solicitor General L Nageshwar Rao and lawyer Niloy Dutta.

A bench headed by Justice A K Patnaik today said that it would pass its order on April 29 regarding the assistance that the committee would require to conduct the probe. It said the committee will be given assistance by investigating agencies.

During the proceedings in the morning, the court sought the consent by 2 PM. But in the afternoon, Subramanium could not appear before it and the matter was posted for next Tuesday. 

The apex court also allowed Srinivasan and BCCI to hear some portions of Justice Mudgal Committee's interactions with Srinivasan, M S Dhoni and Chief Operating Officer of IPL 7 Sundar Raman.

It asked the probe committee to provide audio recordings to the Supreme Court's Secretary General, who will make arrangements for BCCI and Srinivasan's counsel to hear the tapes in the apex court.

The court asked the Board and Srinivasan to maintain complete confidentiality of the contents of the audio tapes and not to leak it to anybody.

"Any content of the audio recordings going out means cricket would be blackened in the country," the bench said.

The audio recordings will be heard in the presence of Secretary General by advocate Amit Sibal on behalf of Srinivasan and advocate Rohini Musa on behalf of the Board.

BCCI also pleaded that there should be no hurdle in the way of Srinivasan for going to ICC because of the pending of the case. The bench, however, said that there will be no problem for Srinivasan if it decides not to remove him from BCCI but he will face problems in case he is removed from the Board.

The apex court had on April 16 expressed reservations over a SIT or CBI probe, saying that institutional autonomy of the Board has to be maintained and a committee constituted by the BCCI to look into the issue would be preferred.

The court had said that it cannot "close its eyes" to the allegations made by its probe committee in the scandal and a probe must be conducted to clear the air as some prominent players were named in the report submitted in sealed envelop. 

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