Bombay HC terms BCCI probe panel as illegal

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SRINIMumbai, July 30;The Bombay High Court on Tuesday held the formation of two member probe panel, set up by Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), to inquire in to the allegations of spot fixing and betting, as ‘illegal.’

The high court order is a severe blow to BCCI President N. Srinivasan as the panel on July 28 had given clean chit of all charges to him, his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, who was the team principal of Chennai Super Kings and Raj Kundra, owner of Rajasthan Royals.

A division bench of justices SJ Vazifdar and MS Sonak was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Bihar Cricket Association. The PIL had challenged the constitution of two-member commission by BCCI and IPL governing council. The PIL questioned the sanctity of the probe panel as it was constituted while Mr. Srinivasan was still the active president of BCCI.

“The high court has said that the issue raised in the PIL is maintainable and the constitution of probe panel is illegal,” told Ameet Naik, Counsel for the BCA to The Hindu. He added that the BCCI has to take a decision now as what they want to do next.

The high court’s order has raised questions over the BCCI’s move to declare all three as innocent of spot fixing and betting scandal. The court has also made it clear that fresh probe needs to be conducted against the accused. This is likely to jeopardise the return of Mr. Srinivasan as the active president of BCCI.

The judges had asked the BCCI to file affidavit on how the probe panel was formed and under what provisions. BCA’s counsel had even submitted the emails sent from the BCCI office-bearers, in which it was claimed that no meeting had taken place to decide on probe panel. It was also argued that no minutes of any meeting about forming a probe panel was submitted.

The BCCI counsel had questioned the BCA’s locus standi to file the PIL. It had informed the court that all procedures were followed while setting the panel.

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