The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), in its emergent working committee meeting in Mumbai on Sunday, recommended a three-member probe panel comprising former CBI director RK Raghavan, former Calcutta high court chief justice JN Patel and former India captain Ravi Shastri to inquire into the IPL spot-fixing and betting scandal. The appointments, however, are subject to the Supreme Court’s approval. The apex body will hear the case once again on Tuesday.
The Supreme Court had on April 16 said that the BCCI should come up with definite corrective measures to clean-up cricket while respecting the cricket body’s functional autonomy. It asked the BCCI to conduct a probe against its deposed president N Srinivasan and 12 others who were named in a sealed envelope, submitted to the court by the Mudgal panel.
Though the board’s decision to come up with a probe panel came through without debate, there was a difference of opinion regarding the candidates who were eventually nominated. Parliamentarian Somnath Chatterjee and members of the Mudgal committee — Justice Mukul Mudgal; Additional Solicitor-General L. Nageswara Rao; and advocate Nilay Dutta — were other names discussed.
It is learnt that it was only former BCCI president Shashank Manohar who opposed the idea to have Raghavan and Shastri on the probe panel, while all other members voted for the personnel. Sources suggest that during the voting that was carried out among members of 15 state associations, 14 agreed with the naming of Jain, Raghavan and Shastri in three-member probe panel. Manohar, incidentally, attended the meeting after the Vidarbha Cricket Association nominated him for it.
“Manohar had opposed the presence of Shastri and Raghavan in the panel; instead he wanted former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee and an additional solicitor general of India in the probe panel. Voting was done and except for Manohar, all were in favour of Jain, Shastri and Raghavan. Shastri was nominated because the BCCI constitution demands an in-house representation in the panel,” a member attended the meeting said.
No Shivlal in probe panel
Many members wanted the BCCI’s interim president Shivlal Yadav to be a part of the probe panel but he declined the position. He suggested JN Patel’s name instead, which was agreed by the house.
It is learnt that Manohar, without naming BCCI president N Srinivasan, slammed how the BCCI has handled the issue, especially with regard to the IPL fixing scandal. Manohar had earlier spoken against Srinivasan but many BCCI members felt that if he wanted things done differently, he should have discussed the issue with other BCCI members and not in public forums.
Despite the differences, BCCI vice-president Ravi Savant said that the meeting was carried out in a cordial fashion. “These are highly-respected names, so all agreed. The meeting was cordial with a fair exchange of views,” BCCI vice-president Ravi Savant told The Indian Express.
Asked if the members also discussed the conflict of interest issue and Srinivasan’s representation to the ICC, Savant answered in the negative. “The sole agenda of the meeting was to discuss the Supreme Court-related issues, and we had to do it on an emergent basis,” he said.
SGM on May 2?
The BCCI will call a special general body meeting on May 2 to replace N Srinivasan from their disciplinary committee. With the apex court ordering Srinivasan not to be part of day to day affairs of the BCCI, the board will have to appoint someone so that they can carry forward the internal trial of tainted cricketer Ajit Chandila, which is yet to be completed.