New Delhi, April 16: The Supreme Court Wednesday said N. Srinivasan’s name features in the list of the 13 people named by Mudgal Committee in the IPL betting scam and he cannot take charge if the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has to conduct an inquiry on its own in the scandal that rocked Indian cricket last year.
Though the apex court admitted that all the charges are yet to be verified, it said that if the BCCI is given powers to investigate then it has to be done without Srinivasan at the top.
Supreme Court had removed Srinivasan as the BCCI president and put Sunil Gavasakar as the interim president in-charge of the IPL and senior vice-president Shivlal Yadav in-charge of rest of the affairs.
The apex court bench of Justice A.K. Patnaik and Justice Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla said: “Having come to know the nature of allegations, we cannot close our eyes.”
Disclosing the content of a report in a sealed cover by retired Justice Mukul Mudgal, Justice Patnaik said there are 13 people against whom allegations are there and Srinivasan’s names is 13th.
“There are 13 names. Srinivasan’s is the last name. The twelve others are very important… we are not concerned with Lalit Modi or Srinivasan. We are concerned with BCCI. There are 12 allegations. All these allegations were told to Srinivasan. But no action was taken. That means that he didn’t take these allegations seriously. That means to his knowledge these things were happening,” Justice Patnaik said.
The bench stressed on the institutional autonomy of the BCCI and said: “If the BCCI has to be given power to investigate then it has to be done without Srinivasan and till investigation is complete Srinivasan will not come back. If there is an SIT (Special Investigation Team), things will be different. But IPL must go on.”
Asking the BCCI to reflect on the options given by it for probing the allegations and come back, the court adjourned hearing and directed its listing on April 22, 2014.
The court also passed the order retaining Sunder Raman after Gavaskar told the court to take a call on the issue.
The court in its order said: “…as the IPL-7 has commenced, we will not like it to be disturbed in any manner. We direct Sunder Raman to continue as chief operating officer of the IPL-7. We hope Sunder Raman will live up to the responsibility.”
BCCI’s senior counsel C.A. Sundaram requested the court to allow Srinivasan to take charge even as the BCCI initiates its own enquiry.
“If there is whisper against someone, he should not have anything to do with or Aget involved in the inquiry. But that should not impede Srinivasan from discharging his other functions. We are keen to maintain the institutional autonomy of the BCCI instead of asking the CBI or the police to investigate the allegations,” said Sundaram.
In response Justice Patnaik said: “We are not inclined to (ask police to investigate) but if we are compelled … We want to develop the principle of institutional autonomy. If BCCI has to do (the probe) then it certainly has to be done without Srinivasan.”
The apex court also allowed the intervention application by a Tamil Nadu police officer (now under suspension) G. Sampath Kumar, who had alleged that top bosses of the cricketing body were involved in IPL match fixing and are trying to sabotage investigation.