In a major setback to the Board Of Control For Cricket In India (BCCI) President N Srinivasan, Justice Mukul Mudgal Committee in its report submitted to the Supreme Court on the Indian Premier League spot-fixing case said that some allegations against Gurunath Meiyappan are true.
Former Chennai Super Kings team principal Meiyappan has been indicted for betting. The 170-page report, filed in the Supreme Court on Monday morning, said Meiyappan, the son-in-law of Srinivasan, had placed bets on IPL matches and shared confidential information. However, the report says further investigation is required over Meiyappan’s alleged involvement in spot-fixing in IPL.
Here is the detailed look of the IPL Scandal — how it unfolded
The 2013 Indian Premier League spot fixing and betting case arose when the Delhi Police arrested three cricketers, S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan, on the charges of spot-fixing. All the three of them represented the former champions Rajasthan Royals. The Special Cell of the Delhi Police arrested Sreesanth and the other two cricketers on May 15, 2013 along with 11 bookies. One of the bookies Jiju Janardhanan was believed to be Sreesanth’s cousin.
Hours after the arrests, the BCCI suspended the three player pending inquiry. They released the statement saying, “The BCCI is shocked and saddened at the recent developments. The BCCI has zero tolerance to corruption. We will offer all co-operation to the Delhi Police and all other authorities in their investigations in this matter. The IPL Governing Council has met and decided that the cricketers found involved will be dealt with severely. As of now, the 3 players viz; Ankeet Chavan, Ajit Chandila and S. Sreesanth stand suspended pending enquiry. All information required to bring the persons involved to book will be collected and strictest action will be taken, if found guilty,"
Rajasthan Royals were also quick to send out a press release, expressing their displeasure on the scandal involving their players. Few days later, in a separate case, Mumbai Police arrested film actor Vindu Dara Singh and BCCI chief’s son-in-law and CSK’s former team principal Gurunath Meiyappan for alleged betting and having links with bookies.
Call records of Vindu Dara Singh in connection with the spot fixing scandal showed that he was in frequent contact with then CSK’ Team Principal Meiyappan. To investigate whether frequent calls to Mr. Meiyappan were for betting, Mumbai Police had issued summons to him. On 24 May 2013, Meiyappan was arrested on charges of betting, conspiracy and cheating after he was questioned by the Mumbai Crime Branch. After his arrest, the CSK franchisee immediately disowned him.
In a press statement on 24 May 2013, India Cements, which owns the CSK franchisee said, “Mr. Meiyappan is neither the owner, nor the CEO/Team Principal of the Chennai Super Kings. He is only one of the members (Honorary) of the management team of the CSK." The main reason for the immediate disowning of him was that, his arrest could lead to termination of the CSK franchise. This was because of the Clause 11.3 (c) of the Franchise Agreement, which stated that “a franchise may be terminated immediately if the Franchisee, any Franchisee Group Company and /or any Owner acts in any way which has a material adverse effect upon the reputation or standing of the League, BCCI-IPL, BCCI, the Franchisee, the Team (or any other team in the League) and/or the game of cricket."
On 26 May, BCCI announced that a three member commission will investigate the role of Meiyappan in the spot-fixing and betting scandal. On 31 May 2013, a senior Mumbai Police official said that Meiyappanan had been warned by an official from the International Cricket Council’s ACSU. He was later released on bail by a Mumbai court on 3 June 2013.
On the same day, the beleaguered but blase BCCI chief N. Srinivasan made it known to the world that the cricket betting-fixing scandal may well have tainted his family, but he will not step down. This brazenness came on a day when it was revealed that Srinivasan’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan would ask Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming about changes in the batting order before a match, information that was then passed on to bookies through actor Vindoo Dara Singh.
Later, senior politicians on the board began speaking out on the issue. The most significant comment came from IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla after meeting with BCCI vice-president and disciplinary committee member Arun Jaitley: Srinivasan, they had decided, must “stay away" from the inquiry commission set up by the BCCI to look into the fixing and betting issues.
Then four days later, Ankeet Chavan, was been granted conditional bail till June 6 by a Delhi court. Chavan had sought bail on the grounds that his wedding was scheduled for June 2. The leadership crisis within the BCCI seems headed towards its endgame on May 31 with two senior officials - secretary Sanjay Jagdale and treasurer Ajay Shirke - resigning from their posts following widespread criticism of the board’s handling of the corruption issues in the IPL.
Then came the biggest of all, when IPL chairman, Rajeev Shukla decided to step down from the post. Shukla told PTI, “I have decided to quit as IPL chairman. It is a decision that I was pondering over for some time. I think it is time to step down. Sanjay Jagdale and Ajay Shirke resigned in the best interest of Indian cricket. I thought this is the right time."
With pressure mounting up on Srinivasan, he steped aside temporarily and Jagmohan Dalmiya was given the duty to run BCCI affairs. “Mr. N Srinivasan announced that he will not discharge his duties as the president of the board till such time that the probe is completed. Till such time, Mr. Jagmohan Dalmiya will conduct the day to day affairs of the board," the BCCI said in a release after a meeting of its working committee in Chennai on Sunday. “The committee expressed full confidence in Mr. Sanjay Jagdale and Mr. Ajay Shirke and requested them to withdraw their resignations in the larger interest of the board." But the duo were in no mood of taking their resignation back.
In further investigations, Rajastan Royals team co-owner Raj Kundra was questioned by the Delhi Police for alleged involvement in illegal betting. On 6 June 2013, Delhi Police claimed that he had confessed to them of placing bets on his IPL team through a bookie who was his friend but later Rajasthan’s team management said that Raj Kundra would be suspended and all his shares in the team taken back if the charges against him of betting were proved.
On June 10, 2013, tainted cricketers Sreesanth and Ankeet Chavan were granted bail by a trial court in Delhi. Seventeen others arrested in relation to the case were also given bail. Ajit Chandila, the third Royals player under arrest, had not applied for the bail yet. In further investigation by the BCCI Panel, Harmeet Singh, a member of India Under-19’s 2012 World Cup-winning squad, appeared before BCCI’s anti-corruption and security unit chief, Ravi Sawani in a spot-fixing probe in Mumbai. Sawani was investigating the alleged involvement of Rajasthan Royals players, Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan, in spot-fixing during IPL 2013. Harmeet, who played one game for Rajasthan in IPL 6 season, shared all the information he had about the fixing episode with Sawani. The 20-year-old left-arm spinner was summoned by Sawani after he recorded a statement.
On June 21, The Cricket Association of Bihar has filed a PIL in Bombay High Court against the constitution of a probe panel on IPL spot-fixing by the then Cricket Board chief N Srinivasan, alleging it was an exercise to “cover up" the activities of his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan. On June 30, the Bombay High Court also said that the BCCI’s two-member committee that investigated and subsequently cleared the owners of the Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings IPL franchises was constituted illegally. The BCCI, it said, will have to investigate the matter afresh. “The entire incident needs to be reinvestigated," the High Court said, according to PTI. “There was disparity in the evidence collected by the probe panel."
Later in August, Supreme Court issued a notice to the Srinivasan, in regards to the public interest litigation (PIL) filed by the Cricket Association of Bihar, in regards to the formation of a new probe panel into illegal activities in the IPL. Later the duo had to be present against Justice Mudgal Committee in connection with the probe into the IPL spot-fixing and betting scandal.
Bout today, Feb 10, 2014, Justice Mukul Mudgal Committee in its report submitted to the Supreme Court on the Indian Premier League spot-fixing case said that some allegations against Gurunath Meiyappan are true. Former Chennai Super Kings team principal Meiyappan has been indicted for betting. The 170-page report, filed in the Supreme Court on Monday morning, said Meiyappan, the son-in-law of Srinivasan, had placed bets on IPL matches and shared confidential information. However, the report says further investigation is required over Meiyappan’s alleged involvement in spot-fixing in IPL.