Report does not point to cover-up by Srini, says SC

Report does not point to cover-up by Srini, says SC

A day after slamming BCCI president-in-exile N Srinivasan for claiming innocence in the IPL scandal, the Supreme Court on Tuesday said that the Mudgal panel
report did not pinpoint any “cover-up” by him.

A bench of Justices T S Thakur and F M I Kalifullah questioned senior advocate Harish Salve, who sought to establish a direct link between Srinivasan and India Cements-owned Chennai Super Kings (CSK), to prove the charge relating to conflict of interest.

“The first report by the Mudgal panel had 13 names but the second and final report does not say anything about Srinivasan. Can you say that his conduct was not above board,” the bench said.

The counsel for Cricket Association of Bihar, however, accepted that there were no direct findings against Srinivasan but the report set out certain facts, including establishing direct connection between Srinivasan and his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan.
Salve pointed out that Srinivasan took a stand before the BCCI committee which probed betting and spot-fixing charges that Meiyappan had nothing to do with CSK and he was merely a cricket enthusiast, which amounted to a cover-up.

Salve contended that Meiyappan was part of CSK and could be seen with team members at all functions and even in the dug-out or at the time of deciding the team strategy.
Meanwhile, the court decided not to disclose the names of players investigated by the panel, saying it was not desirable at this juncture.

On Salve’s plea to make the report public to end “mindless” speculation by the media, the bench said: “This case may have different stages and we don’t know what kind of orders we will be passing during the course of the proceedings. We may pass several orders depending upon how we proceed in the matter. We will decide on making the entire report public at an appropriate stage.”

Salve said the report should be put up in public domain to clear the air, otherwise the entire team would be portrayed as corrupt.

BCCI counsel C A Sundaram and Srinivasan’s counsel Kapil Sibal, however, opposed the plea. Mahesh Jethmalani, representing Meiyappan, and Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra’s counsel Shekhar Naphade, sought all the materials leading to adverse findings against the duo.The court put the matter for further hearing on Thursday.

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