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A helpful summary of the complex IPL 6 spot-fixing and betting case

Thursday, 08 May 2014 By Manali Kulkarni

This week’s Indian sports law update focuses on the Indian Premier League1 2013 Season (IPL-6) scandal court hearings and developments related to the IPL case.

The IPL-6 spot-fixing and betting scandal has been in the Indian sports section headlines since the case started in the May 2013. From the initial arrest of the bookies to the suspension of Srinivasan, former BCCI head, and now the BCCI claiming that the Mudgal Committee’s investigative findings are “erroneous” after gaining access to audio transcripts, the IPL case hearings always resulted in unexpected decisions over the last year. While investigations will continue, the Supreme Court will resume hearing the IPL-6 case in September.


Overview of the IPL-6 Case2

April 16 Hearing3

Based on a First Post article summary4

  •  Narayanaswami Srinivasan filed an affidavit5 requesting the Court to reconsider its decision about removing him as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)6 president. The Supreme Court decides that Srinivasan would not be permitted to “perform any function within India's cricket Board and that its interim order on March 28 will stand.7
  • The court allows Sundar Raman, the Chief Operating Officer of the IPL, to continue as COO for IPL 7.  
  • Interim BCCI president, Sunil Gavaskar, tells the court he can not perform the investigation into Raman’s credibility, as recommended by Aditya Verma (the Cricket Association of Bihar’s secretary, and petitioner in this case), by owing to having worked with Raman in the past.
  • The now suspended IPS officer, G Sampath Kumar’s statement accusing Dhoni for his involvement in the spot-fixing scandal, which “told the Justice Mudgal Committee that India captain MS Dhoni was named by bookie Utham Jain (aka Kitty), along with Gurunath Meiyappan,” is “accepted by the court.” (See last update for this week for new developments on IPS Office Kumar’s deposition).
  • The Supreme Court decides that the BCCI can access the minutes from the interviews, only if the information released to the BCCI would also be made available to the opposition. The BCCI would not be able to selectively expose specific parts of the interviews for it’s own purposes.
  • The Supreme Court decides to give the BCCI the option of running its own “fair probe” into the IPL-6 spot-fixing scandal. The BCCI called an emergent working committee meeting on April 208 to discuss the matter before the next scheduled hearing on April 22.

April 20

  • The Working Committee of the BCCI selects “former India all-rounder Ravi Shastri, former Calcutta High Court Chief Justice J N Patel and ex-CBI Director RK Raghavan as members of the probe committee,9 of which Raghavan previously headed the 1999- 2000 match-fixing investigation.10
  • The BCCI does not opt for a CBI probe, and decides on an independent probe to maintain “the institutional autonomy of the Board” by selecting “a committee constituted by the BCCI to look into the issue,” as expressed by Justices A K Patnaik and F M Ibrahim Kalifulla in the NDTV Sports summary.11
  • Though eligible to attend the emergent meeting as president of the TNCA, Srinivasan was not present to decide the BCCI probe panel.12

April 22 hearing

  • BCCI proposed “three-member panel”: Ravi Shastri, a BCCI employee as well as “contracted as a commentator.13 JN Patel, related by marriage to Shivlal Yadav, interim BCCI president along with Sunil Gavaskar. Ex-CBI head, R K Raghavan, who was already approached by the BCCI for his “expert views” and advice on the IPL probe in response to the hearing on March 25, 201414, is also the “secretary of a club in theTamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA)15, of which N Srinivasan (currently being investigated after being named in the Mudgal IPL Probe Committee Report16) is president.” These backgrounds involve conflicts of interests, leading the proposed BCCI committee to be rejected.17
  • The Supreme Court rejectsthe BCCI probe committee because of “the credibility of the panel”, according to a CNN-IBN article.18
  • The Supreme Court asks the Justice Mukul Mudgal Committee to continue the IPL investigation. Justice Mudgal accepts this request and waits for the Court on how to proceed. 
  • Supreme Court does allow the BCCI access to the audio transcripts of MS Dhoni and Srinivasan, under the promise of “complete confidentiality19. The BCCI wanted to confirm the allegations against Dhoni about calling Meiyappan a “cricket enthusiast,” which matched Srinivasan’s words; both Dhoni and Srinivasan denied these allegations.
  • The audio recordings were dated from 5 November 2013 to 6 January 2014, after which the recordings were stopped because of confidentiality concerns.20
  • The audio recordings were made available on a pen drive to the BCCI and heard under the supervision of “the Secretary General by advocate Amit Sibal on behalf of Srinivasan and advocate Rohini Musa on behalf of the Board.21

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Written by

Manali Kulkarni

Manali Kulkarni

Manali is currently a fourth year JD Candidate at the University of Maine School of Law. She was the COO at LawInSport and continues to be an executive contributor of the editorial board for LawInSport. She holds an LLM in Sports Law from Nottingham Law School (Nottingham Trent University). She is currently the legal extern for the Professional Collegiate League, and also serves as an intern for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. 

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