Probe report exposes BCCI

New Delhi, July 30 -- The alacrity with which the BCCI tabled the internal spot-fixing inquiry report before its working committee meeting on Sunday only revealed its double standards.

The board's interim chief, Jagmohan Dalmiya, admitted the report by the two retired high court judges, T Jayaram Chouta and R Balasubramanian, was received only on Sunday morning and was straightaway presented at the working committee meeting in Kolkata.

While this inquiry was rushed through in two months, the BCCI did not deem it fit to wrap up the other probe that has run parallel - the one being conducted by its anti-corruption chief, Ravi Sawani.

The former Central Bureau of Investigation official questioned two of the three Rajasthan Royals players arrested by the Delhi Police on May 16 that triggered the spot-fixing scandal - S Sreesanth and Ankeet Chavan.

But the report has been delayed on the argument that the third player - Ajit Chandila - is still in jail and thus could not be questioned. That raises the question whether enough effort was made to question Chandila in Tihar, for which the court hearing the Delhi Police case could have been approached.

On the other hand, the other inquiry has been finalised despite crucial inputs on the interrogation of N Srinivasan's son-in-law, Gurunath Meiyappan, not being made available by the Mumbai Police to the two-member panel.

While details are awaited, it is clear the Rajasthan Royals, Chennai Super Kings and Royals' co-owner Raj Kundra have been absolved of wrongdoing. But the BCCI did not wait for the police cases, inter-linked with its own inquiry considering the seriousness of the issue, to at least lead to the filing of charge-sheets.

But this selective approach by the BCCI clears Srinivasan's path to return to an active role as BCCI president, after being forced to "step aside" following the arrest of Meiyappan for alleged betting and suspected links with bookies.

Wrapping up

India Cements, owner of CSK, getting the all clear, and Srinivasan distancing himself from Meiyappan by claiming he was not team principal but a mere CSK "enthusiast" has effectively ended the case.

The IPL governing council is unlikely to rock the boat and the BCCI has also called a working committee on August 2, the day the GC will go through the inquiry report.

If the report is ratified on Friday and the Mumbai Police charge-sheet then shows Meiyappan has a case to answer, Srinivasan's position as BCCI chief could become untenable.

But the BCCI does not seem to mind, with the focus being clearing the path for Srinivasan at the helm of affairs in the build-up to the AGM in September.

The August 2 working committee is also expected to work out modalities as an election is expected to be held for the president's post in the AGM, though there is provision for Srinivasan to seek a one-year extension of term.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.


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