IPL spot fixing scam: CSK, RR suspended for two years
The committee has also suspended Gurunath Meiyappan and Raj Kundra from cricketing for a period of five years.
Declaring that the spirit of cricket is larger than individuals, their cricket franchises or financial losses, the Supreme Court-appointed Justice R.M. Lodha Committee suspended IPL cricket teams CSK and Rajasthan Royals from the league for two years.
In a judgment read out by former Chief Justice of India Justice Lodha, the committee further suspended for life former BCCI president N. Srinivsan’s son-in-law and CSK team official Gurunath Meiyappan and former Rajasthan Royals part owner Raj Kundra from involving with BCCI in any cricket matches.
The two team officials found guilty of betting by the Supreme Court were also suspended for a maximum 5 years from taking part in any cricketing activities. Both suspensions will be in effect from today and will run concurrently. Justice Lodha made it clear in the judgment that his committee’s mandate was to safeguard the purity of the game.
He said the judgment reflects the “institutionally firm” position of the committee to protect the paramountcy of purity of the cricket. It said the controversy had shaken the foundation of cricket.
Reading out the operative part in the judgment concerning Mr. Meiyappan first, the committee said he acted in gross violation of the anti-corruption code and IPL Operational Rules. It said Mr. Meiyappan ignored the fundamental sporting imperatives as a team official.
The judgment said he lost Rs. 60 lakh in betting, which showed his heavy betting habits. It said that at age 40, Mr. Meiyappan cannot say that he did not know the impact of his doings and the injury it caused to cricket.
The judgment said the betting activities of Meiyappan and Kundra had such adverse impact and immeasurable harm on BCCI, IPL and cricket that any given cricket game is viewed with general distrust and raises doubts of illegality.
On Kundra, the judgment said his defence that he was a UK citizen and that he did not know that betting was illegal here cannot be accepted. “If he was truly in love with game, he would not gave engaged in betting,” Justice Lodha read from the verdict.
Imposing strict liability on CSK and RR for the illegal activities of their team officials, the judgment said neither will ICL’s claim of “long history of contributions” to cricket nor Jaipur IPL being the “nursery” of cricket can hide the fact that all is not well with them.
This was accentuated by the fact that Meiyappan as son in law of Mr. Srinivasan was the “face of the owner” and Kundra was part owner. The verdict said the franchises were liable for grave “general omissions”. Lodha Committee was formed by the Supreme Court in its judgment in the IPL betting case on January 22.
The January 22 judgment confirmed the Supreme Court-appointed Justice Mukul Mudgal probe committee’s findings and held ICC president and former BCCI chief N.Srinivasan’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappanand Raj Kundra, part-owner of Rajasthan Royals (RR) IPLteam, guilty of betting. It dismissed claims made that Meiyappan was no team official but a cricket enthusiast.
The Bench also made franchises – Chennai Super Kings and RR – liable for “misconduct” of Meiyappan and Kundra.
“Gurunath Meiyappan and Raj Kundra are accepted as team officials, their misconduct which has adversely affected the image of the BCCI and the league as also the game and brought each one of them to disrepute can result in imposition of one or more of the sanctions. It is noteworthy that those sanctions are not limited to Gurunath Meiyappan and Raj Kundra alone but may extend to suspension of the team or the franchisee from the league also,” the apex court held.
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