Background of IPL Scam, Mukul Mudgal Committee report findings. SC Verdict and Impact on Cricket and BCCI
Background of IPL Scam, Mukul Mudgal Committee Report Findings. SC Verdict and Impact on Cricket and BCCI
Q. Discuss the background of the IPM Scam, and the findings of the Mudgal Committee report, the SC verdict in this context, and impact of the verdict on cricket and BCCI?
A. Background of the IPL Scam
Allegations of sporting frauds plagued BCCI (Board of Cricket Control in India) for months
ii. Accusations included:
• Conflicts of interest against:
• Those in position of influence in BCCI
• Franchises and teams competing in IPL (Indian Premier League) Format
iii. Appeals to SC arise following:
1. Writ petition filed in public interest by appellant (Cricket Association of Bihar) before Bombay HC for several reliefs
2. Writ in nature of mandamus giving BCCI direction to recall order constituting 2 judges to explore allegations of betting and spot fixing against Gurunath Meiyappan
3. Appellant Cricket Association of Bihar had also prayed for:
• Consequential orders accorded to appellants for removal of Srinivasan from President of BCCI
• Cancellations of franchises favouring Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals for future IPL matches
4. Association also challenged validity of BBCI Regulation 6.2.4 of the Regulations for Players, Team Officials, Managers, Umpires & Administrators/BCCI Regulations and order passed by HC dismissing a PIL in this context
iv. Case Before SC:
a. About Appellant:
Cricket Association of Bihar - This is a society registered under the Societies Registration Act 1860
b. About Major Respondents:
• Board of Cricket Control of India (BCCI)
This is a society registered under the provision of the Tamil Nadu Registration of Societies Act 1975
• Mr. N Srinivasan - President of BCCI, Vice Chairman and MD of India Cements Limited
• India Cements Limited - a public limited company
c. Evidence Against the Parties
• 2013, April: Complaint received by police alleging involvement of underworld members in fixing concluded edition of IPL.
• Subsequent telephonic transcripts (proof of contact with punters and bookies) and investigations by Mumbai and Chennai Police
d. Arrests in this connection:
• Sreesanth, Chandila, Chavan of RR
• 7 bookies
• Gurunath Meiyappan, son-in-law of N. Srinivasan
v. First Probe Commission
Following arrests, a Commission comprising 2 BCCI members and one independent member was constituted with: 2 former judges of the Madras HC and Shri Sanjay Jagdale
vi. Objections Voiced against Commission:
• Commission formed unconstitutionally and invalidly
• Probe not fair as Jagdale quit and 2 ex-judges on case left
• Probe commission formed ultra vires of BCCI Rules and Regulations
vii. Charges of the Appellant
• Gurunath Meiyappan be probed for involvement in betting and spot fixing
• Termination of franchise agreement between BCCI and the RR/CSK teams
• Mandamus instituting disciplinary proceeding against Srinivasan
• Suspension of the BCCI President pending the probe and other proceedings
• Prohibition of Srinivasan from contesting elections for post of BCCI president and representation of BCCI in ICC
viii. Subsequent Developments
• HC bench declared probe not validly constituted
• Violation of IPL Operational Rules adjudged as well
• HC drew the line at constitution of Probe Committee/ Said constitution of the same was under BCCI control
• Srinivasan was re-elected as President of the Board despite probe not being completed
• Constitution of Probe Committee following this comprising:
• Chairman of the Probe Committee - Justice Mukul Mudgal: retired CJ of Punjab and Haryana HC
• Members - Mr. Nageshwar Rao: Additional Solicitor General, Mr. Nilay Dutt: Senior Advocate, Gauhati HC
B. Findings of the Mudgal Committee Report
Mudgal Probe Committee constituted the following investigations:
• Interactions with prime accused Gurunath Meiyappan and Raj Kundra
• Players against whom action taken by BCCI for match and sort fixing
• Interactions with following opinion leaders and experts:
- Law enforcement agencies
- Former IPL players
- Team management personnel
- Well known sports journalists and commentators
- Anti corruption unit personnel from ICC and BCCI
- IPL Governing Council
- Persons mentioned in Terms of Reference
ii. Key Findings
1. Gurunath Meiyappan was a major part of CSK and judged face of team through De Jure ownership in India Cements Ltd
2. Meiyappan was a team official within the context of the IPL Operational Rules if not de facto owner of CSK
3. He had knowledge and could access sensitive information such as - team data, team strategies, knowledge about match conditions
4. He was also a participant under IPL Anti Corruption Code so IPL regulations were applicable to him
5. He was in contact with bookies and punters – calls with Vindoo Dara Singh traced.
6. Ramesh Vyas and Jupiter placed bets for Vindoo Dara Singh and certain IPL stakeholders including Meiyappan
7. Meiyappan was also in contact with alleged punter hotelier Vikram Aggarwal – as per call details by Chennai Police
8. Meiyappan placed IPL bets through Vindoo Dara Singh - IPL match transcripts
9. Further investigation needed to prove allegations against Kundra and wife Shilpa Shetty regarding possible violation of IPL Operational Rules, the Anti-Corruption
Code and the Code of Conduct for Players and Team Officials.
10. Disciplinary action taken against several players in this connection by BCCI was adequate and satisfactory.
11. Committee presented names of persons against whom allegations in IPL scam were made in sealed envelope.
Probe Committee held Meiyappan guilty of betting and violating:
• Sections 2.2.1 and 2.14 of the IPL Operational Rules and
• Articles 2.2.1,2.2.1, 2.2.3 of the IPL Anti-Corruption Code and
• Articles 2.4.4 of the IPL Code of Conduct for Players and Team officials.
It also said franchisee owner CSK was responsible for failure to ensure Meiyappan complied with:
• BCCI Anti-Corruption Code, IPL Regulations and IPL Operational Rules
iv. Findings of the Final Report
Final report took note of scientific evaluation to arrive at conclusions that:
1. Meiyappan had betted in IPL matches, but there was no evidence he was involved in match fixing
2. Kundra has indulged in betting in violation of BCCI Regulations and IPL Anti-Corruption Code
3. N Srinivasan was not involved in match fixing or preventing investigation into this
4. No action taken by Srinivasan on account of the infraction
5. Meiyappan once bet against own team halfway through innings
6. Two ex BCCI presidents informed panel about CSK match fixing
7. Six Indian players in taped conversations with bookies; global players also possibly involved
• The matter was then placed before the SC and judgement was delivered accordingly
C. SC Verdict
Supreme Court of India considered the following questions in the case:
• Whether respondent BCCI is State within meaning of Article 12 and in case it is not, whether it is amenable to the writ jurisdiction of the HC under A226 of Indian Constitution?
• Are Meiyappan and Kundra “team officials” of CSK and RR respectively? If so, are allegations against them proved?
• If allegations proved, what action in nature of punishment has been permissible under concerned Rule sand Regulations and against whom?
• Whether allegations against Srinivasan proved and the effect of this?
• Is having administrators who have commercial interests in the IPL Champions League and Twenty-20 events legally bad?
• Allegations against Chief Operating Officer Sunder Raman stand proved and if so to what effect?
i. The Verdict:
• 3 Member panel formed headed by ex CJI R. M. Lodha to decide on punishment quantum for:
- Kundra, Meiyappan, CSK, RR
• Srinivasan not guilty of covering up investigations yet no clean chit on conflict of interests
• Misconduct punishable against team officials and franchises as well
• SC also held unsustainable and impermissible amendment in BCCI rule which lets cricket administrator have commercial interests in IPL
• Meiyappan is a team official and Kundra a part owner, according to the SC
• SC held that anyone with commercial interests in IPL should face disqualification from contesting BCCI elections which may be held in 6 weeks
• BCCI did not adhere to prescribed procedures while conducting probe in IPL scam, adjudged the SC
• Kundra and Meiyappan’s roles in betting proved beyond doubt, SC ruled
• SC also said conflict of interest in cricket leads to confusion
• Amendment in BCCI rules which gave permission to Srinivasan to own IPL team illegal/legally bad
• Srinivasan has a choice between BCCI Chief Post and CSK, SC said
• Amendment to rule 6.2.4 incorporated by BCCI in February 2008 stick down; BCCI officials can no longer own IPL teams, SC ruled
ii. Role of the Justice Lodha Led Committee:
The committee will:
• Explore and investigate the role of COO Sunder Raman in the IPL scam
• Make Recommendations regarding:
- Amendment to rules for streamlining conduct of elections in BCCI
- Despite prohibition of rule 6.2.4, amendment to rules for resolution of conflict of interest, if any
- Amendment to BCCI rules and regulations to carry out recommendation of either Mudgal committee or Lodha committee
- Any other recommendation to prevent Frauds, Conflict of Interests, Scams
Lodha Committee Constituents
- Hon’ble Mr. Justice R.M. Lodha, former Chief Justice of India – Chairman.
- Hon’ble Mr. Justice Ashok Bhan, former Judge, Supreme Court of India – Member.
- Hon’ble Mr. Justice R.V. Raveendran, former Judge, Supreme Court of India – Member.
• Committee’s order will be final and binding on BCCI and all parties concerned
D. Impact on BCCI and Cricket
• Verdict meets BCCI’s “credibility deficit”
• Bans office bearers from holding commercial interest and vice versa
• Protects the interests of the game for its fans and players
• Preserves the institutional integrity of cricket
• Will work to enhance purity of cricket: Lodha
• BCCI has public profile, will now be held responsible to uphold this
• Disciplinary action now lies in hands of 3 eminent former judges
• Reforms and changes will be now made to rules and regulations
• Counters lack of transparency and unsavoury developments in the field of cricket and BCCI functioning
• Independent committee formed to remove malaise and scams affecting cricket
• The SC verdict is a confirmation of the Mudgal committee report.
• It will lead to much needed reforms in the functioning of BCCI and Indian cricket.
• Put in a nutshell, it will be conducive in cleaning up the game.