July 12, 2015 12:57:35 am
After a lengthy probe, extensive travelling and an 82-set of questionnaire, the Supreme Court-appointed Lodha Commission will pronounce the quantum of punishment against Gurunath Meiyappan and Raj Kundra in the IPL spot-fixing case on Tuesday. The commission will also give its decision on the fate of the two IPL franchises, Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals.
The Commission informed this on Tuesday in a press note, saying: “The verdict of the Justice Lodha Committee is to be rendered on Tuesday 14th July at Silver Oak-II in the India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road. This will be at 1:00 pm.”
On January 22 this year, the Supreme Court had set up a three-member committee comprising former Chief Justice of India RM Lodha, Justice Ashok Bhan (retired) and Justice R Raveendran (retired) to “determine appropriate punishments” for Meiyappan and Kundra; a former Chennai Super Kings team principal and Rajasthan Royals co-owner, respectively. Both were found to be involved in IPL betting.
“We make it clear that given the nature of the proceedings entrusted to the Probe Committee and the standard of proof applicable to the same, we see no reason to disagree with the conclusion of the Probe Committee that Gurunath Meiyappan was indeed indulging in betting.
“So long as Mudgal Committee has conducted proceedings in consonance with the principles of natural justice, the Committee’s finding that Kundra was a team official of RR and that he had indulged in betting cannot be faulted,” the Supreme Court had said in its January 22 verdict. The court made it clear that misconduct was punishable for the franchises as well.
The committee was also asked to look into the BCCI functioning and recommend solution for its clean-up and overhaul. According to sources, the report on the cricket board’s restructuring would be submitted to the court later. The first phase deals with the tainted officials and owners, and the IPL franchises that have transgressed. As for the BCCI revamp, the committee members have met many officials and players during its course of investigation and they reportedly found Board president Jagmohan Dalmiya unwell during his submission.
The Supreme Court has already struck down the amendment to the rule 6.2.4 of the BCCI that allowed N Srinivasan to own the Chennai Super Kings.
“Suffice to say that amendment to Rule 6.2.4 is the true villain in the situation at hand. It is the amendment which attempts to validate what was on the date of the award of the franchise invalid as Rule 6.2.4 did not as on that date permit an administrator to have any commercial interest in any event organised by BCCI,” the court said.
“It is accordingly answered in the affirmative and amendment to Rule 6.2.4 permitting administrators of BCCI to acquire or hold commercial interests in BCCI like IPL, Champions League T20 held to be bad for the reasons we have set out in the foregoing paras. Conflict of interest is one area which appears to have led to the current confusion and serious misgivings in the public mind as to the manner in which BCCI is managing its affairs,” it added.
The judgment cost Srinivasan his BCCI presidentship. He couldn’t contest the election. Dalmiya replaced him at the March 2 Annual General Meeting of the board.
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