Judge probing IPL Spot Fixing flays Chennai Super Kings for Violating Rules

There was more trouble for Indian cricket board chief Narayanaswami Srinivasan as retired (justice) Mukul Mudgal in his report to the Supreme Court Monday indicted his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan in the Indian Premier League (IPL) betting scandal. He also blamed India Cements, owner of Chennai Super Kings, for failing to comply with the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) Anti-Corruption Code for Participants.

Mudgal, who was appointed by the apex court in October last year to file a detailed report on the IPL betting and spot-fixing scandal, said that Meiyappan was “the face and team official” of IPL franchisee Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and “the allegations of betting and passing information” against him “stand proved”.

When the betting scandal came to light Srinivasan, who also owns India Cements, had distanced himself from Meiyappan saying he was just a mere cricket enthusiast.

In a 171-page document submitted to the Supreme Court Monday, Mudgal said the allegations of fixing against Meiyappan as well as Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra need to be further investigated.

The apex court bench, headed by Justice A.K. Patnaik, said they will pass the appropriate order March 7 after going through the report.

“The committee is of the view that the material on record clearly indicates that Meiyappan was the face of CSK and the team official of CSK,” said the report.

The report, based on information provided by the Delhi and Mumbai police and comprising FIR and chargesheet filed by Mumbai police and transcripts of telephonic conversations, says “Meiyappan was indulging in betting through Vindu Dara Singh who was in direct touch with the bookies and punters like Mr. Vikram Aggarwal”.

“Bets placed by Mr. Meiyappan inter alia were not only in favour of CSK but also against it. Meiyappan also bet on teams in matches of teams other than CSK,” the report said.

Mudgal also said that India Cements failed to comply with BCCI’s Anti-Corruption Code.

“It was the burden of India Cements Limited, franchisee of IPL team Chennai Super Kings, to have ensured that each of its team officials comply with the operational regulations including without limitation the BCCI Anti-Corruption Code for Participants….A finding against Gurunath Meiyappan would therefore necessarily entail a finding on the failure of India Cements Limited in carrying out its said obligations,” said Mudgal in his report to the apex court.

Mudgal said that the BCCI should act against Mudgal in the same way it did against three Rajasthan Royals cricketers during the pendency of criminal proceedings.

“In similar circumstances, the BCCI had proceeded against the players of IPL team Rajasthan Royals during the pendency of the criminal proceedings. The BCCI should act in a similar manner in matters pertaining to allegations of betting and passing on inside information against Gurunath Meiyappan and need not await the conclusion of the criminal trial in CR No. 61/2013,” said Mudgal.

On the players involved in the scam, the committee felt that adequate punishment was meted out to S. Sreesanth (life ban), Ankeet Chavan (life ban), Amit Singh (five years suspension) and Siddharth Trivedi (one year suspension) by BCCI.

A sealed envelope was also submitted to the court containing the names of persons who could be involved in the sports fraud.

“During its interaction and on the review of documents provided, the committee has come across many allegations of sporting fraud, however, as of now these are mere allegations. We don’t think its proper to cast aspersions on the persons unless investigations are conducted,” said the report.

As part of the recommendations made to the Supreme Court, the report said former players like Sachin Tendulkar, V.V.S. Laxman, Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble, Sourav Ganguly and Venkatesh Prasad should advise young players on the malaise of spot/match-fixing.

The probe committee comprised Mudgal, a former chief justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court, Additional Solicitor General of India L. Nageshwar Rao and senior advocate Nilay Dutta.

It was formed last year after the BCCI-appointed panel having former judges of the Madras high Court – Justice T Jayarama Chouta and Justice R Balasubramanian – was deemed illegal by the Bombay High Court. The Supreme Court refused to stay the order.