Advocate, who appeared before the Mudgal Committee, tells MiD DAY that he suggested Chennai franchise be suspended or derecognised; urges SC to come down heavily on IPL spot-fixers
Having appeared before the Justice Mudgal Committee, I had suggested that the Chennai Super Kings franchise be suspended or derecognised. But I doubt it will happen, because in India, what happens is when a case becomes untenable, the small fish in the pond are the ones who are consumed while the sharks somehow manage to go scot-free.
Yellow fever: Chennai Super Kings players discuss strategy during the 2012 edition of the Indian Premier League and (inset) Rahul Mehra
I am certain about the fact that CSK must be disbanded. There is no question about it. But if I know the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) even a little bit — and I have known them for years — then they will show that Gurunath Meiyappan was not the Team Principal. They will show he was not in a position in the team management, and this-or-that particular clause does not apply to him.
I believe, the day the Supreme Court uses its powers in the right perspective, the sanity and sanctity of Indian cricket will be restored. Till the time the apex court does not come down heavily, nothing will happen. Every sports association wants autonomy, but autonomy should be given to them only when there is complete accountability on their part.
However, the larger question to be asked in this particular case is: Who introduced Mr Meiyappan, who was a non-entity till recently, to Indian sport?
He was planted as a team owner and Team Principal by his father-in-law, Mr N Srinivasan, who is the 'king of conflicts of interest' and keeps on claiming that 'I am distancing myself from so-and-so and anybody who is caught in illegal activities'.
Can Mr Srinivasan distance himself from Meiyappan by saying that he is not his son-in-law and he doesn't have access to him? Or that he doesn't have access to the environment he lives in? Or he doesn't have access to the kind of decision-making that he is privy to? Or that he doesn't have access to the players that Srinivasan has access to? Or the kind of information he has access to?
Or the kind of power he has access to? Let me make it clear: Meiyappan is not the only one who has been indulging in all this. There are people all across the Indian Premier League — be it batsmen, bowlers, umpires, team managers, team principals and owners — each one of them have been guilty and many of them have found their hands in the till and have been engaging in illegal activities, and we have seen that over the last few years.
Indians aren't fools
Coming back to the Meiyappan case, I would say, let's stop making fools of Indians. I think his position is untenable. Plus, on the whole, please remember we are dealing with thick-skinned people here. They have the hide of a rhinoceros. They know that nothing can stop them, nothing can make them introspect.
These are people who will come on television, laugh it over, make nonsensical statements, and flaunt their power. All sorts of statements will be made by them with little effect.
May 16, 2013: Delhi Police arrest Rajasthan Royals' Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan, Ajit Chandila for "fraud and cheating." Also arrest ex-RR player Amit Singh alleged he's a bookie.
May 23: Mumbai Crime Branch summons Gurunath Meiyappan for questioning in connection with betting.
May 24: Mumbai police formally arrest Meiyappan.
May 30: Public call for N Srinivasan to step down due to conflict of interest.
June 2: Srinivasan temporarily steps down, Jagmohan Dalmiya steps in for daily operations.
June 4: Meiyappan granted bail but can't leaving India.
July 28: Two-member BCCI panel clears Raj Kundra, RR and India Cements.
July 30: Bombay HC deems BCCI's panel illegal.
August 30: Supreme Court issues notice to BCCI, Srinivasan, India Cements, RR on appeal challenging HC order for not appointing fresh probe committee.
Sept 21: Meiyappan is chargesheeted by Mumbai police for cheating, fraud.
Sept 22: Police say Meiyappan shared team info with actor Vindoo Dara Singh, bet against his team.
Oct 8: SC lets Srinivasan take charge, but tells him to stay away from IPL probe.
Nov 2: Probe panel meets Mumbai police and BCCI's anti-corruption unit.
Nov 8: Panel meets Sreesanth
Dec 19: Panel meets Srinivasan and Meiyappan
Jan 19, 2014: Panel meets Sourav Ganguly, Dalmiya.
Feb 10: Probe report finds Meiyappan guilty of betting and passing on information as the face of CSK.
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