New Delhi: The Supreme Court Friday disclosed the names of four key cricket personalities investigated by the Justice Mudgal Committee for allegations of spot fixing and betting in the 2013 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
The apex court bench comprising justice T.S. Thakur and justice F.M. Kalifullah said those under the Mudgal scanner were sidelined Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president N Srinivasan, BCCI chief operating officer (COO) Sunder Raman, IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals (RR) co-owner Raj Kundra and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) team principal Gurunath Meiyappan besides at least three yet unnamed players.
In the wake of Friday's developments, the BCCI elections - scheduled for Nov 20 - have been put on hold for another four weeks.
The BCCI had earlier postponed its Annual General Meeting (AGM) and annual elections after the Supreme Court on Sep 1 ignored pleas to reinstate sidelined board chief Srinivasan in his post.
The Supreme Court bench said the Mudgal Committee report dealing with the conduct and role of Srinivsasan, Meiyappan, Sundar Raman and Raj Kundra will be given to these four people as well as to the BCCI and the petitioner Cricket Association of Bihar for their respective rejoinders.
The court, however, said that the identity of the players named in the report will be held back for the time being.
The court said it would make the report available to lawyers on both sides so that they can make their arguments when the next hearing takes place Nov 24.
The court said all the parties will file their objections to the report within four days of its receipt and they will have the liberty to file responses to rival objections in another four days and directed the listing of the matter for Nov 24.
The court recorded the statement made by BCCI counsel C.A. Sundaram that the meeting of the BCCI annual general body which was scheduled to be held Nov 20, will now take place after four weeks.
Counsel Salve, who appeared for the Cricket Association of Bihar (CAB), said he would make all the four persons under investigation party to the case and application for their impleadment would be filed Saturday and then they would be furnished with the report of the Mudgal Committee.
Counsel Kapil Sibal, appearing for Srinivasan, pointed out that for the purpose of hearing contents of the Mudgal Committee about Srinivsasan, Meiyappan, Sundar Raman and Raj Kundra they have to be impleaded and made party and heard.
“We have seen the report. It does suggest some misdemeanour on the part of certain individuals,” justice Thakur said at the outset of the hearing.
“We have had an occasion to go through the report. There are certain findings recorded by the Mudgal Committee, which may be understood to be indicting some persons with regards to whom inquiry was conducted," the court said in the course of the hearing.
The counsel told the court that the matter be taken up for hearing Dec 2 as the completion of pleadings would take some time. Justice Kalifulla then suggested bringing the matter up Nov 24, when they would address the plea.
“We have not stopped the election. You have yourself postponed it,” justice Thakur said.
Counsel Sundaram urged the court that it should also say that the annual general body meeting of the BCCI would stand postponed. At this, he said the court can record his statement in the order.
Initially, the court said that it would share with the parties (to the dispute) the part of the report that concerns them and for the rest of the report, the registry would be asked to make it illegible (black it out) to read.
However, counsel Salve expressed his misgivings whether the registry would be able to completely black out the part of the report. He said there may be a portion pointing out that one of the four named people spoke to the players named in the report which may not be blacked out.
He said such references would have bearing on the conduct and role of any of the people whose names have been made public Friday.
The court, on hearing this, said the entire report would be given to the parties but the names of the players which stand substituted by numbers in the report of the Mudgal Committee would be kept guarded and concealed.