More trouble on the cards for the BCCI

The Supreme Court Bench comprising Justices A.K. Patnaik and J.S Khehar had on August 7 refused to grant an interim stay on the Bombay High Court’s order that the probe panel that looked into the spot-fixing scandal in the IPL was constituted illegally.

But it had directed the Cricket Association of Bihar (CAB) to respond to the special leave petition filed by the BCCI within two weeks and had also decided to consider the matter on Thursday.

But while the BCCI looks set to give in and form a new probe commission, abiding by the laws of the land, if directed by the SC, there is a new twist to the tale. CAB secretary Aditya Verma has already filed a new special leave petition asking the SC to form a probe commission of its own to look into the spot- fixing scandal that rocked Indian cricket.

The SC has decided to consider both the issues on Friday and, if Verma is to be believed, there is no reason why the court will dismiss his plea for a fair probe into a matter of national interest.

“Earlier, the SC had decided to hear the issue on August 29, but after I filed the new SLP, praying for the SC to form a probe panel to look into the whole fixing fiasco, the court has decided to hear both issues on August 30. And I am very confident that my appeal is genuine and the SC will grant my wish for a fair probe into the whole matter,” Verma told Mail Today.

“It has already been proved that the BCCI has been trying to fool the public and more than the money, it is the emotion of millions of cricket fans across the country that they are playing with. This has to stop somewhere.”

In fact, the BCCI appointed probe commission, comprising former judges of the Madras High Court T.Jayaram Chouta and R. Balasubramanian — had raised quite a few eyebrows when it managed to investigate the whole issue within days, even though the Delhi and Mumbai Police were yet to finish their investigation and file a chargesheet

Also, the BCCI had said that the police departments hadn’t really co-operated in the investigation.

Even then, the panel managed to conclude that all allegations levied against Gurunath Meiyappan, Chennai Super Kings official and Board president N. Srinivasan’s son-in-law, Raj Kundra, co-owner of the Rajasthan Royals, and the two franchises in question were incorrect.

Verma feels it is bizarre that the two-member commission managed to get to the bottom of the debacle in a jiffy.

“It is surprising that even though the law-enforcers, the police were still working on the issue and hadn’t filed a chargesheet, the two eminent retired judges seemed to have a magic wand that helped them solve the mess in a matter of days. There was definitely something amiss and I want the truth to prevail,” he said.

On the other hand, the BCCI, which had earlier looked unperturbed by the High Court’s decision to call the constitution of the two- member panel illegal, had definitely softened its stance by Wednesday.

Speaking to Mail Today, a senior BCCI official said it would abide by the laws of the land and if required, would happily form a new probe commission.

“See, you need to understand that the order of the court doesn’t put a finger on either Srinivasan or the BCCI. All it says is that the constitution of the probe panel was illegal. We are more than willing to form a new probe panel if the SC directs us to. As for Srinivasan, he will chair the meeting in Kolkata on Sunday,” he said.

But it will be interesting to see how the BCCI reacts if the SC actually upholds Verma’s request for the appointment of a new probe panel by the SC. With the crucial working committee meeting set to take place in Kolkata on Sunday, the BCCI definitely has a lot on its plate.

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