New Delhi: The Supreme Court today rejected N Srinivasan's plea for reinstatement as BCCI President saying he cannot be allowed to take up the charge till he gets a clean chit from Justice Mudgal Committee which is probing him and 12 players in IPL betting and spot-fixing scandal.
Expressing displeasure over slow speed of probe, the apex court asked the panel to complete it's investigation within two months and also allowed it to file interim report against Srinivasan or any other office bearer who are under its scrutiny.
A bench of justices T S Thakur and F M Ibrahim Kalifulla turned down Srinivasan's plea that he should be allowed to discharge his function as the AGM is expected to take place at the end of this month and his signature is needed for clearing the annual account of the board. "Signing account book is not a ground. This cannot be a ground for reinstatement," the bench said.
At the outset of proceedings, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Srinivasan, pleaded the court to reveal whether there was anything against him in Justice Mudgal's interim report so that he be allowed to take up the charge of BCCI if there is nothing against him. The bench said that no comments have been made against Srinivasan in the report but the probe is still going on and he cannot be allowed to function as BCCI President.
It said that the committee sought more time as it wants to record the statements of some players who are on England tour and also voice samples of some people need to be matched. "We saw the report. Two months time for completion of probe does not seem realistic. The way in which it is going on, it will take five years. It's going to be a tough task for the Committee," the bench said, asking it to expedite the probe.
The court posted the case for further hearing on November two but allowed the committee to file interim report on any individuals if it wishes. Justice Mudgal committee, which is conducting probe against Srinivasan and 12 prominent players in the scandal, had on August 29 filed its interim report in a sealed cover before the Supreme Court.
The apex court had on May 16 given the task to conduct probe against 69-year-old Srinivasan and 12 players to Justice Mudgal panel and asked it to file its report by end of August. It had rejected BCCI's proposal to conduct the probe through its own panel. The Mudgal committee had earlier investigated the scandal and submitted in a sealed envelope its initial report in which names of Srinivasan and 12 cricketers were mentioned.
"We are of the considered opinion that the allegations against the 13 persons including N Srinivasan mentioned in the report submitted in the sealed cover should be investigated into by the Justice Mudgal Committee and the team of investigators because if a new Probe Committee is entrusted to inquire into the allegations, there is likelihood of the allegations being leaked to the public and such leakage will damage the reputation of the 13 persons beyond repair," the bench had said.
Besides Justice Mudgal, the panel has Additional Solicitor General L Nageshwar Rao and advocate Nilay Dutta as members. A group of investigators headed by senior IPS officer B B Mishra has assisted the Mudgal Committee which was given the power to probe, search and seize relevant documents and record evidence.