The BCCI has filed a petition in the Supreme Court over the checking of the evidence of three key individuals before the Justice Mukul Mudgal Committee that was appointed for a fact-finding mission on last year’s Indian Premier League corruption scandal. The BCCI has requested audio recordings of India captain MS Dhoni, IPL chief operating officer Sundar Raman and side-lined BCCI president N Srinivasan. The Supreme Court will hear on the case on Friday.
The application has been submitted a week before the Supreme Court’s next hearing of the IPL corruption scandal case on April 16. During the last hearing, the court divided the BCCI presidency into two parts during its interim order in the case during the last week of March.
In that hearing, Harish Salve, who represented the Bihar Cricket Association, the petitioners against the BCCI, had accused Dhoni of having taken part in “corrupt practices” by covering up facts about the role of Srinivasan’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan in the Chennai Super Kings franchise. In the Mudgal report, the mention of Dhoni’s role is as follows: “Mr. MS 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 Super Kings.” While Sundar Raman had told the Mudgal committee that the ownership structure of IPL franchises was “ambiguous”, Srinivasan was considered in the committee’s report twice, due to references made to his conflict of interest in the case.
At the beginning of its hearing, the Mudgal committee decided to have recorded conversations in order to keep an accurate record of the hearing. Those being interviewed were told that the recordings would not be used in court and were deleted after the minutes had been accurately noted down. At one stage of the hearing, the recordings are known to have been stopped. Along with the Mudgal committee report, both parties were made available 4000 pages of annexures which did not consist of recordings from the 52 evidences given by the committee.
A sealed envelope contains minutes of the meetings and evidence that took place before the committee relating to unverified allegations and should the court agree to hand over the minutes of the meeting, they will have to be made available to both parties.
During the March 25 hearing, the court stated details of the sealed envelope given to them by the Mudgal panel will be private; the BCCI’s lawyers were shown certain portions of the report. When the counsel, CA Sundaram, said “We have not seen the contents of the report in the sealed cover”, Justice Patnaik has been believed to have summoned him to the bench and had him read a portion of the sealed envelope report.
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