New Delhi : Justice R.M. Lodha Committee appointed by Supreme Court today (14th July) pronounced that Indian Premier League (IPL) teams CSK and Rajasthan Royals suspended for two years as their team officials were guilty of involvement in IPL betting scam.
In a judgment read out by the former Chief Justice of India, Justice Lodha, the committee also suspended to life the former Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president N. Srinivsan’s son-in-law and CSK team official, Gurunath Meiyappan, and the former Rajasthan Royals part- owner, Raj Kundra, from involving with the BCCI in any cricket matches.
The two, 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 14th July 2015 and will run concurrently.
Reading out the operative part of the judgment concerning Mr. Meiyappan first, the committee said he acted in gross violation of the anti-corruption code and IPL Operational Rules. 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. At age 40, Mr. Meiyappan cannot say he did not know the impact of his doings and the injury it caused to cricket. The betting activities of Mr. Meiyappan and Mr. Kundra had such adverse impact and immeasurable harm on the BCCI, the IPL and cricket that any given cricket game was viewed with general distrust and raised doubts of illegality, it said.
On Mr. Kundra, the judgment said his defence that he was a United Kingdom citizen and that he did not know that betting was illegal here cannot be accepted. “If he was truly in love with the game, he would not gave engaged in betting,” Justice Lodha read from the verdict.
This was accentuated by the fact that Mr. Meiyappan, as son-in-law of Mr. Srinivasan, was the “face of the owner” and Mr. Kundra was part-owner. The franchises were liable for grave “general omissions.”
The Lodha committee was formed by the Supreme Court in its judgment in the IPL betting case on January 22. This judgment confirmed the Supreme Court-appointed Justice Mukul Mudgal committee’s findings and held Mr. Meiyappan and Mr. Kundra guilty of betting. It dismissed claims that Mr. Meiyappan was no team official and he was only a cricket enthusiast.
The committee has been given further powers to bring in any recommendations it sees fit in the BCCI functioning. It has been given six months from 14th July to complete the tasks.