Court asks BCCI to re-investigate spot-fixing
MUMBAI, India (AP) — An Indian court on Tuesday said the spot-fixing allegations from this year’s Indian Premier League should be reinvestigated after declaring that a panel set up by the Board of Control for Cricket in India was “illegal and unconstitutional.” The panel had cleared two teams and its officials of the charges.
“The entire incident needs to be reinvestigated,” the Bombay High Court said in its order after the Cricket Association of Bihar filed a case against the BCCI. “There was disparity in the evidence collected by the probe panel.”
The order effectively strikes down the panel’s report clearing Chennai Super Kings team principal Gurunath Meiyappan and Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra of betting and keeping in touch with illegal bookmakers during the IPL.
The report was to be discussed at an IPL governing council meeting on Friday when the teams and officials were expected to be formally cleared of the charges.
Former BCCI secretary Sanjay Jagdale was originally the third member of the panel but his resignation after the spot-fixing controversy reduced the number to two.
The spot-fixing controversy arose after the arrest of Rajasthan Royals players Shantakumaran Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan by Delhi Police, who claimed they had proof that the players had conceded more than a specified number of runs per over in return for money from illegal bookmakers.
Delhi Police on Tuesday named all three players in a charge-sheet filed in a court that named a total of 39 persons. The list includes alleged underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and his aide Chhota Shakeel, who the police claim have been operating the spot-fixing racket from outside India.
All the accused have been charged with a stringent Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act (MCOCA).
Sreesanth and Chavan are out on bail, while Chandila is in jail awaiting trial.
Two other Rajasthan players - Sidharth Trivedi and Harmeet Singh have also been questioned by police.
Meiyappan, who is the son-in-law of BCCI president Narainswamy Srinivasan, spent nearly two weeks in jail after he was accused of spot-fixing, while Kundra admitted only to betting and was never arrested.
Srinivasan, who is the managing director of the India Cements company that owns the Chennai Super Kings, was forced to step aside pending the investigations for fears of a conflict of interest. Former ICC president Jagmohan Dalmiya took over as acting BCCI president in the interim.
The BCCI has also announced a separate investigation into the roles of the Rajasthan players in the spot-fixing controversy.