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IPL fixing: SC refuses to reinstate N Srinivasan; 2 months extension to Mudgal committee

Supreme Court on Monday gave two months to Justice Mudgal committee to complete its final probe in the IPL 2013 spot-fixing and betting scandal.

In fact, the special SC bench, headed by Justice TS Thakur gave a big set back to Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president-in-exile N Srinivasan by refusing to reinstate him at the helm of the Indian board. The bench passed the statement when N Srinivasan’s lawyer stated, if there was nothing against him in interim report, then he should be reinstated.

Meanwhile, the bench gave the Mudgal committee a green signal, when it showed interest to file some separate report on few other persons, apart from the 13 they were investigating on.

Now the next hearing is scheduled for November 10.

Earlier, acting on the SC directive, Mudgal committee had submitted its interim report to the apex court on August 29. And it also sought a two-month extension to complete its probe. The report in a sealed envelope was submitted to the court by a senior lawyer instead of senior advocate Gopal Subramaniam, who had previously acted as an amicus curiae for the Supreme Court.

Last October, the apex court had constituted the Justice Mukul Mudgal panel to investigate the spot-fixing and betting case in the case-rich IPL. The three-member panel led by Justice Mudgal, a retired Punjab and Haryana High Court judge, has Additional Solicitor General L Nageswara Rao and senior advocate Nilay Dutta in the committee.

And on February 10, the committee submitted its first report to the court after conducting a four-month long probe. It is learnt that cricketers, board officials, cops, lawyers and even journalists had deposed before the panel and depositions were recorded during the probe on equipment provided by BCCI.

In the follow up, the court had asked the committee to continue its investigation of the persons named in the sealed envelope and the committee was also given greater powers to effectively conduct its probe. After agreeing to lead the investigation, Justice (Retired) Mudgal had listed for specific organisations and individuals whose assistance he would require, which included a former India cricketer “of repute and integrity”.

The committee, which was being assisted by former senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officer BB Mishra, had been given all investigative powers, including search and seizure of relevant documents and recording evidence. However, it cannot carry out any arrests. The committee was assured of assistance from one senior police officer each from Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi.

The spot fixing and betting scandal had hit the 2013 edition of IPL, with Delhi Police arresting three Rajasthan Royals cricketers – S. Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan – in a midnight raid in Mumbai. Then, Mumbai police also unearthed betting links after they arrested Gurunath

Meiyappan, son-in-law of former Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) chief N Srinivasan, and Bollywood actor Vindu Dara Singh.

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