The Supreme Court on Friday decided to hear on April 16 a plea by the BCCI, seeking access to the audio transcripts of the statements made by Indian captain M S Dhoni and ousted chief N Srinivasan before the IPL probe panel.
The Bench was informed by the panel that it had not submitted audio transcripts in the court but only the minutes of the meeting. At this, the BCCI requested the court to direct the panel to hand them over the tapes. The court said it will decide their application on April 16.
The panel, while holding Srinivasan’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan guilty of betting in IPL, had trashed the statements made before it by the beleaguered BCCI president and Dhoni that he had nothing to do with the cricketing affairs of the Chennai Super Kings. As per the panel, both Dhoni and Srinivasan claimed that Meiyappan was just a “cricket enthusiast” supporting the team.
However, refuting the allegations against Dhoni, the BCCI had later told a bench led by Justice A K Patnaik that Dhoni had never made the statement that Meiyappan was only a cricket enthusiast.
Seeking an urgent listing of their application, BCCI counsel C A Sundaram had mentioned the matter before the bench on Wednesday. “We are seeking audio transcripts of all the interviews conducted by the probe panel during its inquiry. Various statements are being attributed to Srinivasan, Dhoni and Sunder Rajan that should not have been made,” Sundaram told the bench.
The court had then asked the BCCI to serve a copy of the application also on the petitioner, Cricket Association of Bihar (CAB). CAB’s counsel Harish Salve had accused the skipper of lying and indulging in “corrupt practices” by seeking to cover-up. It was also asserted that neither the BCCI nor any person in individual capacity has challenged the findings of the panel and the BCCI had rather accepted the report and hence they cannot challenge the findings now.
On March 28, the court had allowed IPL-7 to go on with participation of all eight teams, including Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals — the two sides linked to corruption scandal, but shunted out Srinivasan from all the affairs of the board.
The bench had replaced him with former Indian skipper Sunil Gavaskar as the Board’s interim President for managing the affairs of the seventh edition of the IPL, starting April 16 in the UAE, till the court delivers its judgement in the IPL betting and spot-fixing case.
For the rest of the work of the BCCI, senior-most vice president Shivlal Yadav will discharge the functions of the president of the board. “We also direct that till we deliver the judgment, none of the employees of India Cement Limited or its associate companies (except for cricket players or commentators) will perform any of the duties assigned to them by the BCCI and the Interim President, Sunil Gavaskar, will have power to engage the services of such persons on whom he has confidence for work in connection with the IPL 2014,” the bench had said.