In a major reprieve to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president N Srinivasan, the Supreme Court yesterday lifted restraints it put on him from assuming charge as the elected chief of the Board.
At the same time, the Board agreed to the court’s suggestion of setting up a three-member panel to investigate allegations of spot-fixing and betting in the Indian Premier League (IPL). The BCCI also agreed to foot the bill of the panel.
“We are of the view that the probe committee comprising Justice Mukul Mudgal, senior counsel and Additional Solicitor General L Nageshwar Rao and senior counsel Guwahati High court Nilay Dutta can function independent of BCCI and N Srinivasan for probing into the allegation of spot fixing and betting,” the court observed.
Each member of the fresh panel will get Rs one lakh for every working day they would be devoting to the probe. The panel has been asked to submit its report within four months. “N Srinivasan’s lawyers and the BCCI counsel told the court that the panel will work independently and he won’t interfere in its working,” BCCI counsel CA Sundaram said.
Meanwhile, Justice Mudgal said: “It is an honour for me to head the panel. I have two eminent members in the panel and will chart out the course of action after talking to them. I think this panel is fair to all parties concerned.”
L Nageshwar Rao, a die-hard fan of VVS Laxman, told MiD DAY that nobody would be allowed to take millions of fans for a ride. “Not only as a cricketer, but as a citizen of this country you want sports to be clean. Especially cricket, since it is almost a religion in this country,” Rao, a former university level wicketkeeper and opening batsman, said.
“You don’t want millions of people to be taken for a ride. You don’t want people to be defrauded.” It may be recalled that Rao was captain of the Indian team of lawyers that played a series in England four years ago. “After watching TV and reading newspapers, I feel that something is wrong. It is very painful. People will lose faith in the game if the truth is not presented.”