Jaywant Lele, former secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), is not convinced about the manner in which the Board completed its probe into the betting scandal concerning the owners of Indian Premier League (IPL) teams Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals.
During Sunday’s working committee meeting in Kolkata, the BCCI gave a clean chit to the teams after the two-man probe panel did not find “any evidence of wrongdoing” against them. “It (the BCCI inquiry) is nonsense and a complete hogwash,” Lele told MiD DAY from Baroda yesterday.
“The police must have gathered some clues. How can they (probe panel) declare they have no evidence? As long as the chargesheet is not filed in court, nobody can get any papers for evidence. You have to wait for the chargesheet to be filed.”
While Mumbai Police arrested N Srinivasan’s son-in-law’s Gurunath Meiyappan; Raj Kundra, Shilpa Shetty’s husband, was called for questioning by the Delhi Police, who unearthed the spot fixing racket in the IPL. Meiyappan and Kundra have reportedly confessed to betting.
No choice for BCCI
Lele said BCCI had no choice but to wait for the judiciary to take its time. “They (BCCI) should have said, as long as the probe in court is not completed, the case would go on.
It was wrong on the BCCI’s part to clear them just because they did not get any proof. Shame on them,” said Lele, who was the Board’s secretary when the match-fixing scandal rocked India in 2000.
“By giving them a clean chit, the BCCI has only asked for more trouble. Meiyappan and Kundra were suspended, going by the reports (that surfaced), and the Board’s rules are very clear that anybody under suspicion can be ousted,” he added.
T Jayaram Chouta and R Balasubramanian (retired Madras High Court judges) constituted the panel. The probe report will now be forwarded to the IPL Governing Council on August 2 which could help Srinivasan get back his president’s post from interim chief Jagmohan Dalmiya.
Srinivasan had stepped aside till the investigations into his son-in-law Meiyappan and his company India Cements was complete. Lele also questioned the timing of the inquiry committee report.
“Why was the report not given beforehand? Why was it handed over only on the morning of the working committee? There are many doubts. Nothing looks convincing,” stressed Lele.