Calls Srinivasan’s continuation in post ‘nauseating’, impediment to fair probe

Coming down heavily on BCCI President N Srinivasan, the Supreme Court on Monday asked him to step down to enable a free and fair probe into the betting and spot fixing scandal involving his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan and some cricketers, failing which it would pass an order.

After going through the contents of a report on the scandal filed by a Supreme Court-appointed probe panel, a Bench headed by Justice AK Patnaik said there are “very, very serious” allegations in the report and unless the BCCI President stepped down, no fair probe could be conducted.

“In our opinion, Srinivasan has to step down if a proper probe is to be done in the case,” the Bench said.

“We don’t like to damage people’s reputation but unless the BCCI President steps down, no fair investigation can be done.

“Why is he sticking to the chair. It is nauseating,” the Bench said.

“If you will not step down, we will pass the verdict,” the enraged Bench added.

Cloud over six players

It stated that the contents of the report, which also raised suspicion on the role of six India-capped players in the Indian Premier League betting and spot-fixing scandal, cannot be revealed in open court. The Bench asked the BCCI counsel to go through certain paragraphs of the report.

“Go through the report to get to know the seriousness of the allegations but not as an advocate of Srinivasan or BCCI,” the Bench said.

It said that the gist of the report is such that the allegations have to be probed and asked the BCCI counsel to take instructions.

It posted the case for hearing on March 27.

During the hearing, the BCCI pleaded before the court not to disclose the contents and names of players mentioned in the report.

Meanwhile, pressure mounted on N Srinivasan to quit as BCCI chief with three Vice-Presidents — Shivlal Yadav, Ravi Sawant and Chitrak Mitra — joining former cricketers and administrators in asking him to respect the Supreme Court’s observation.

“Supreme Court has given the order. Nobody can challenge it… there is no question of going back on it or giving an opinion. It has to be carried out in total and BCCI will have to follow whatever the apex Court has given,” Yadav, a Vice-President representing the South Zone, told a news channel. Yadav added that he was ready to “accept any responsibility given to me”.

(This article was published on March 25, 2014)
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