CSK and Rajasthan Royals banned from IPL for two years

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) were suspended for two years from the Indian Premier League (IPL) by the panel appointed by the Supreme Court of India. Earlier Supreme Court appointed a panel to address the issue IPL sport fixing and betting scandal.

Panel headed by Justice RM Lodha, in its verdict, which suspended two former champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK), and Rajasthan Royals (RR) of Indian Premier League (IPL), also suspended, Mr. Gurunath Meiyappan and Mr. Raj Kundra from any type of cricket matches for life after they were found guilty of betting in the T20 tournament.

Mr. Gurunath Meiyappan is the son-in-law of current ICC Chief, N. Srinivasan. Mr. Gurunath Meiyappan was the Team Principal of Chennai Super Kings (CSK), and Mr. Raj Kundra was the co-owner of Rajasthan Royals (RR).

Panel observed that, Meiyappan is involved in the sport fixing and betting scandal, and his conduct affected image of BCCI, the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the game of Cricket (Twenty 20/T20). Panel also observed that, Raj Kundra was placing bets through a known punter and was constantly in touch with bookies. Rajasthan Royals have damaged the faith of BCCI and the sport, Mr. Raj Kundra is found guilty of misconduct.

Earlier, Supreme Court had held that the allegation of betting against Meiyappan and Kundra stood proved and set up the three-member committee of its retired judges to determine the punishment for Meiyappan, who was the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) team Principal and Kundra, the co-owner of Rajasthan Royals (RR).

Rajasthan Royals (RR) won the inaugural event in 2008 under the captaincy of Australian spin legend Shane Warne, and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) are also the most successful team in the Indian Premier League (IPL), having won the tournament in 2010 and 2011, and finished runners-up in 2008, 2012, 2013 and 2015. Indian cricket team skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (MS Dhoni) was the Caption for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) for all the IPL season.

Kerala pacer and former Indian fast bowler Sreesanth was a part of Rajasthan Royals, where a case is pending against Sreesanth before the Court at Delhi for alleged sport fixing in the 2013 Indian Premier League (IPL). Said case is posted to July 15, 2015 for framing charges in the 2013 Indian Premier League (IPL).

Burden of proof on Srinivasan to disprove the conflict of interest

Supreme Court put the burden of proof on BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) president-in-exile N Srinivasan to prove that there was no conflict of interest involving him that came in the way of a probe into the sixth edition of Indian Premier League (IPL – 6).

Major part of the argument was on the conflict of interest. Kapil Sibal, counsel of Mr. Srinivasan was arguing that there was no finding either by the Justice Mukul Mudgal Committee or the Bombay high court against Srinivasan on the conflict of interest issue.

However, court had a different opinion on the conflict of interest issue and asked Mr. Srinivasan to lift the veil. While responding to the contentions on behalf of Mr. Srinivasan, the bench said that, it was up to Srinivasan to “demonstrate” that there was no conflict of interest as the question has arisen on admitted facts.

It was contented that, at no point of time was Srinivasan given an opportunity either before the Mudgal Committee or the high court to address the issue of conflict of interest, and the issue of conflict of interest was neither in the pleadings before the high court nor in the terms of reference of the Mudgal Committee and it was raised only in the apex court.

However, the bench showered questions on the appointment of the commission and even observed “was it on the concurrence of the BCCI President”. While Srinivasan’s counsel making submissions, bench asked him that, “Who was at the helm of the working committee meeting? Who was heading the meeting?”

When it was told that the Commission was not in place before the scandal, the bench observed that, “Do you constitute the commission depending upon the people in the complaint. You don’t have a prior commission. So, for different complaints, there would be different commissions.”