Much before he became a High Court judge, former Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal was a well-known sports enthusiast, also involving himself in sports law and speaking on issues concerning growing instances of corruption in sport, especially cricket. In an email interview with The Indian Express, Justice Mudgal talks about his committee’s report, submitted to the Supreme Court today, on spot-fixing in the Indian Premier League.
* As a sports fan were you shocked or disappointed with what you heard during this probe? What was the most disturbing fact that you came across during the inquiry?
Yes, of course, like every other cricket fan, I was shocked to hear that spot-fixing was taking place in IPL. But the most disturbing fact that came to our knowledge was that betting was taking place with the active involvement of persons connected with the franchise, which is completely contrary to the IPL rules.
* Are you happy with the scope of your probe and the mandate you had? Can we say that this was a free and fair probe where your hands were not tied?
Yes, absolutely. It was a completely free-and-fair inquiry. No pressure of any kind from any source was exerted on the committee.
* Do you think N Srinivasan should continue to remain the BCCI president while being an IPL franchise owner and also while his son-in-law, who is now out on bail, and has been indicted by your committee?
That is for the Hon’ble Supreme Court or the BCCI to decide.
* We have heard from the police that they have ample proof that Gurunath Meiyappan bet on games and N Srinivasan was aware about his habit, even though it is not clear if he knew anything about match fixing. Your comments?
Whatever came to our knowledge is there is the report. We have categorically said that the role of Gurunath Meiyappan in Chennai Super Kings (CSK) as the team official stands proved and the allegations of betting and passing of information against Meiyappan stand proved. Now, it is for the court to decide.
* Do you think that are enough checks and balances in the IPL set up to curb match fixing? What have you suggested in this regard?
We have suggested that the IPL should be governed by a body which has all stakeholders as well as independent directors.
* Do you think that the the CSK and Rajasthan Royals scandal is just the tip of the iceberg. Do you suspect that more teams and their franchisees could be involved?
This cannot be stated without a more thorough investigation.
* Gurunath didn’t speak to your panel. Did that have any impact on your findings?
We could not elicit his side of the picture and had to proceed on our inputs. But, there was adequate material from other sources, including police.