The report of the probe panel headed by retired Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal will be the highlight of Tuesday’s Supreme Court hearing in the Indian Premier League betting and spot-fixing case.
The probe report was submitted by retired Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal and his team — including L. Nageswara Rao and Nilay Dutta — on February 10.
A bench headed by Justice K. Patnaik had said on March 7 that the case would be heard on a non-miscellaneous day as the hearing would take time. Speaking to Mail Today on the eve of the judgment, Mudgal said he was confident there will be no further delay in the case and a verdict would be passed on Tuesday. "While the case was deferred in the first hearing, I am expecting a verdict tomorrow,” he said.
A hard taskmaster, Mudgal had led his team in interrogating as many people they felt were relevant to their investigation.
One of the most important interactions was the one he had with Sundar Raman — the IPL CEO. Mudgal doesn’t remember much about it, however.
"We tried to talk to as many people as possible to get a clear picture. But honestly, I can’t really recollect much of what transpired during our interaction with Sundar Raman,” is all he said.
One of those involved in the proceedings told Mail Today on condition of anonymity that Mudgal had chided Sundar when he tried to make a presentation, and directed him to simply answer the questions asked.
Sundar had gone in with a Powerpoint presentation and was trying to show it to the panel. But the committee wasn’t really too impressed and told him to start answering their questions and clear the picture,” the source told Mail Today.
Interestingly, Sundar told the committee that Y. P. Singh from the ICC Anti-Corruption and Security Unit had verbally informed him earlier that there were reports alleging that a number owners or team officials were involved in betting on IPL matches.
Sundar and the BCCI apparently asked Singh to verify the authenticity of these reports and were informed that there was no actionable information.
This appears clearly in Nilay Dutta’s report, which was filed separate to the main report signed by Mudgal and Rao.
In the latter report, the committee, in relation to IPL franchisees in general and Gurunath Meiyappan in particular, questioned Sundar as to who an owner of a team was, to which he replied that the ownership structures of teams are in general ambiguous. Sundar further stated that the term "owner” for the purpose of accreditation was loosely used and has no implication, while identifying an owner under the franchise agreement. He further stated that the status of an ultimate owner was not clear, but may be read as per the Franchise Agreement.
Sundar also admitted that the IPL Governing Council had not made any effort to determine who the ultimate owners of the franchisees were.
While Mudgal isn’t too keen on discussing how the proceedings during interrogation went, he expressed happiness at the support received from most of the people he questioned. "It is not about being happy or sad with the way the proceedings went. All I can say is that I am satisfied as there was co-operation from everyone we spoke to,” he said.