BCCI questions Mudgal probe

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Tuesday raised question marks over the Mudgal panel findings in the Supreme Court saying the indictment of former president N Srinivasan and captain M S Dhoni had no basis.

Relying upon the audio transcripts, accessed with the apex court’s order, the board contended before a bench of Justices A K Patnaik and F M I Kalifullah that the accusations recorded in the panel report were made at the instance of former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi.

“The BCCI would want a new and a separate panel and not this panel. Certain findings of the two-member report–prepared by former Punjab and Haryana High Court chief justice Mukul Mudgal and Senior advocate L Nageshwar Rao–have not gone on any basis. We have the transcripts of the seven-hour-long tape and the findings are specifically erroneous on the face of the records,” senior advocate C A Sundaram, appearing for the BCCI, submitted.

The court last week allowed the counsel for the BCCI and Srinivasan to hear the audio-tapes of statements made before the Mudgal panel and obtain the transcripts.

The BCCI and Srinivasan had claimed that the former president and Dhoni had never submitted before the panel that Srinivasan’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan was merely a cricket enthusiast and not involved in IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings, in contrast to the assertions made by the Cricket Association of Bihar.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Srinivasan, said that he had heard the tapes and no such statement was ever made by any of them.

“There is not a whisper. The petition is motivated and it is being supported by Lalit Modi and former BCCI president A C Muthiah,” he alleged.

Both Sundaram and Rohatgi sought reinstatement of Srinivasan as the BCCI president, but the court reminded them that it was he (Srinivasan), who himself, decided to remain aside till the probe was complete.

The court, on its part, said that it would pass a judicial order on the constitution of the new panel and would keep in mind the submissions.

During the hearing, the bench also clarified that it had favoured further probe by the Mudgal panel to maintain confidentiality, otherwise the allegations against 12 people, including cricketers and Srinivasan, would be known to other people if a fresh committee with new members was handed over the probe.

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