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Abhijit Kale found prima facie guilty
- D.V. Subba Rao report submitted to Bombay HC

Mumbai: The BCCI’s inquiry has found prima facie material against Abhijit Kale in the matter of alleged offer of bribes to two national selectors “to proceed further” possibly referring it to a disciplinary committee.

Inquiry commissioner D.V. Subba Rao, who heard Kale and the three selectors in Visakhapatnam last week, has said in a report that “the totality of circumstances appeared to indicate a prima facie case to proceed further”.

“In order to convince myself that there is a prima-facie case, I have set out reasons elaborately and if the board decides to refer the matter to the disciplinary committee, the committee would have to assess the material placed before them uninfluenced by the views given by me to conclude that there is a prima-facie case,” Rao said in his report. Portions of the report were submitted before the Bombay High Court hearing Kale’s petition challenging the Board’s order of suspension.

The report’s contents were submitted to the high court by BCCI counsel and Maharashtra Advocate- General Goolam Vahanvati.

The report found that Kale had contacted selector Kiran More five times on his cell phone and during one such conversation had allegedly offered the latter a bribe of Rs 10 lakh.

On August 5, Kale called up another selector Pranab Roy five times and even met him at the Mumbai airport where he allegedly offered Roy too a bribe of Rs 10 lakh to be included in the Indian team to tour Australia. Roy turned down the offer, Vahanvati submitted.

The court was also told that in May, Kale’s mother went to More’s residence in Vadodara and offered him Rs 10 lakh to include her son in the team.

The BCCI counsel’s submission was made during a hearing on Kale’s petition against his suspension by the Board.

Justice Dilip Bhonsale of the high court asked Kale to go back to the Pune civil court on the issue of his suspension. He had originally filed a suit in the Pune court challenging the BCCI action.

Kale filed the appeal in the high court challenging the order of the Pune district court upholding his suspension by the BCCI.

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