#5 A case of natural justice
Sreesanth, acquitted of charges against him in the spot-fixing saga by a Patiala Court back in 2015, is still denied a comeback. “I always wanted my name to be cleared before my daughter Googles my name”These were the words of an emotional Sreesanth, cleared of all charges laid on him in the 2013 IPL spot-fixing case couple of years ago. Clear they did, but with the BCCI refusing till date to revoke the life ban slapped on him, the Kerala pacer has not yet been able to make his comeback to cricket in any form.Challenging the BCCI’s defiant stand, Sreesanth had approached the Kerala High Court with a plea that has now culminated with the Court passing an order to lift his ban. However, when all would seem hunky-dory again for Sreesanth, the BCCI has other ideas. Reiterating their earlier position, the Board is now all set to appeal against the latest Court order, much to the dismay of the bowler, whose trials and tribulations may now prolong further.A two-time World Cup winning member of the Indian team and chief architect of a famous Test win on South Africa soil, the fall of Sreesanth is one of the most unfortunate stories of genuine talent wasted away.While the BCCI sticks to its unrelenting stand on denying the temperamental fast bowler another chance, here’s a perspective on why Sreesanth deserves another chance.The entire case against Sreesanth is thinly built on information from the Delhi Police and recorded conversations between Jiju Janardhanan - Sreesanth's friend - and the bookies. During the course of the hearing, the Courts had declared these evidence as inconsequential in proving any involvement of Sreesanth in spot-fixing.Yet, claiming their internal enquiry is independent of the legal proceedings in the Court, BCCI considered it as enough evidence to straightaway impose a life ban on Sreesanth.With Courts having set aside all charges alleged against him on two separate occasions, the BCCI’s stubborn attitude towards the player is harsh and it would go against all principles of natural justice for them to deny him any further, the right to play competitive cricket.Sreesanth, 34, has already lost four years of what is considered that stage of the career when a bowler is at the peak of his powers, courtesy the BCCI dragging their feet on this issue.Notably, the Kerala High Court , in its judgement made the following observation:"The BCCI referred to the conversation, selectively, as against Sreesanth. When evidence is in the nature of circumstantial evidence, that evidence ought to have been appreciated as a whole. If the evidence as a whole is appreciated, it can easily be concluded that Sreesanth had no direct link in spot fixing or betting.”“The question in such circumstances is whether Sreesanth had any knowledge of occurrence of the subject of the betting? The evidence as such clearly does not indicate whether Jiju Janardhanan had approached Sreesanth or not. It is to be noted that another BCCI anti-corruption court if the player has the knowledge of the subject of the bet, he is bound to report to the authorities (article 2.2.3). Assuming that Sreesanth had knowledge of such betting, the court is of the view that the punishment already suffered by him of four years of the ban from all format of the cricket, nationally and internationally, is sufficient to meet ends of justice."