Senior Counsel Harish Salve, who is one of the lawyers arguing for petitioner Adtiya Verma, alleged before the Supreme Court on the basis of the Justice Mudgal Committee report that India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is guilty of misleading Justice Mudgal by giving wrong information to the Committee about Gurunath Meiyappan’s role within the Chennai Super Kings.
Salve, in the court, stated the reason for MS Dhoni’s alleged attempt to hide the truth. “Dhoni is an employee of India Cements and that leads to a conflict of interest,” he said.
Salve didn’t stop there and also asked for removal of CSK and RR in the wake of the spot-fixing and betting allegations. Court will take a call on it on Friday 10:30 a.m. If court indeed bans CSK and RR then it would be a huge blow for this season’s IPL provided they continue with the tournament.
Last year when this scam broke out Srinivasan defended his team by claiming that Meiyappan was just a cricket enthusiast and no the team principal. The Mudgal committee which was set-up by the apex court, however, demolished Srinivasan’s argument and found conclusive evidence on the contrary to what CSK boss claimed.
Justice Mukul Mudgal in his report stated: “We found that most people associated with cricket did say he was a team official, he was at the auction. We have concluded he was a team official and team officials are forbidden from betting.”
Salve based his argument on that claim Dhoni was economical with the truth and tried to mislead the probe presumably under pressure from his boss.
Let us look at what the report states: “Mr. M.S. Dhoni, Mr. N. Srinivasan and officials of India Cements took the stand that Mr. Meiyappan had nothing to do with the cricketing affairs of Chennai Super Kings and was a mere cricket enthusiast supporting CSK.”
However, it is worth noting that in a 2011 Meiyappan gave an interview to the Hindu Business Line, said the following: “Before every game, Dhoni, Fleming and I exchange our elevens at 5.45 p.m. (for the night matches).” And this: “Fleming and I spent countless hours in the lead-up to the auction. In the last three days, we conducted mock auctions, picked around 45 different combinations.”
This interview certainly hints that Meiyappan had a lot to do with the CSK rather than being just an enthusiast. While the report does not explicitly makes any conclusions, but it does suggests that either Dhoni or Meiyappan was being economical with the whole truth and his connection with the team franchise. Any person with a degree of independence reading report can see it is Meiyappan who is telling the truth, and not Dhoni.
However, based on just one report it would not be wise to conclude that Dhoni is guilty as everyone knows that in India PIL are easiest way to get free publicity.
So before jumping the gun on Dhoni we (fans) should show some respect to the contribution he has made to Indian cricket and wait for court’s final verdict.