New Delhi: Supreme Court yesterday said that the allegations levelled against BCCI's COO, Sundar Raman, cannot go "un-probed" and directed its newly-appointed committee to further investigate the averments against him, saying "truth must be brought to light".
"We are not inclined to let the allegations made against Sundar Raman go un-probed, even if it means a further investigation by the investigating team provided to the probe committee or by any other means," a bench of Justices T S Thakur and F M I Kalifulla said while asking its committee headed by former CJI R M Lodha to probe allegations against him.
The bench said if the committee finds him guilty it would also decide on the suitable punishment against him. The bench said Raman was the spirit behind the entire exercise of IPL and cannot be said to be unconcerned with the matters relating to the tournament, especially if it has the potential of bringing disrepute to the game or BCCI.
The bench, however, noted that the report submitted by the Justice Mukul Mudgal probe committee "did not indict" Raman in clear words. It said the truth about the allegations made against Raman "must be brought to light, for it is only then that all suspicions about the fraudulent activities and practices floating in the media against the BCCI and its administrators in several proceedings before different courts can be given a quietus."
While issuing directions regarding further probe into the conduct of Raman, it said, "We are of the view that, once we appoint a committee to determine and award punishment, we can instead of referring the matter back to Mudgal Committee, request the proposed new committee to examine the role played by Raman, if necessary, with the help of the investigating team constituted by us earlier."
"Investigating team constituted by this court under senior IPS officer B B Mishra shall for that purpose be available to the new committee to carry out all investigations as may be considered necessary," it said. The apex court noted that as per the probe committee report, Raman was allegedly in constant touch with actor Vindoo Dara Singh, accused in IPL-spot fixing and betting scandal, and had exchanged nearly 350 calls with him during the IPL.
"In its final report submitted in November 2014, the probe committee recorded a finding that Raman had known a bookie and had contacted him at eight different occasions during the IPL," it said. The bench also noted the submission of Raman made before the probe committee, in which he had said that he knew Vindoo
only as a celebrity who frequently attended IPL matches and denied having any knowledge about his activities and contacts.
On the allegation against Raman that he did not take any action despite having the knowledge of involvement of several owner and team officials in betting, the bench said the observations made by the committee regarding his role gave rise to "serious suspicion" about his involvement in betting affairs.
"..Apart from suggesting that having received information about betting activities in connection with IPL matches, he remained totally inert in the matter instead of taking suitable action warranted under the circumstances," it said, adding that Raman was and continues to be the COO of IPL and holds a very important position in the entire system.