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Panel stopped the audio recordings

Justice Mukul Mudgal

Calcutta: For reasons which can only be speculated, the Justice Mukul Mudgal IPL probe committee is understood to have “stopped” the audio recordings of depositions “after a certain point in time.”

It was done “consciously.”

A well-placed source of The Telegraph confirmed that on Tuesday, on the eve of the resumption of hearings in the Supreme Court.

In fact, on Wednesday, Justice Ananga Kumar Patnaik and Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla will “examine” the request of the Board of Control for Cricket in India for “transcripts of the audio depositions” of captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Narayanswamy Srinivasan (effectively suspended as the Board president) and IPL COO Sundar Raman.

“Physically noted down transcripts of all depositions are available. However, every deposition wasn’t recorded... After a certain point in time, the probe committee stopped recordings,” the well-placed source said.

One school of thought is that Justice (retd) Mudgal and his colleagues, L. Nageswar Rao and Nilay Dutta, probably didn’t want “extremely sensitive material” to be available in the form of audio recordings.

“It’s assumed somebody had something extremely sensitive to reveal, which prompted Justice Mudgal to stop the recordings. Perhaps, he thought it best to keep a written record only. Of course, at this stage, one is speculating on the reasons,” the well-placed source pointed out.

The well-placed source couldn’t, however, confirm if the recordings stopped before Dhoni, Srinivasan and Raman had deposed or after their depositions. Or, while one of them was deposing.

“What I can inform is that the recordings weren’t resumed,” the well-placed source said.

At least 58 individuals deposed before the probe committee, including five former captains of India — Krishnamachari Srikkanth, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble.

The probe committee submitted its explosive report (to the Supreme Court) on February 10. On March 28, Justices Patnaik and Kalifulla passed an interim order, making Sunil Gavaskar the Board’s interim president on IPL matters and assigning the other duties to Shivlal Yadav.

It’s interesting that one hasn’t heard a word from Shivlal after the interim order.

Those who want cricket in general and the IPL specifically to be cleansed are praying that, when the hearings resume, the Supreme Court will order an independent inquiry — to be conducted either by the Central Bureau of Investigation or a special investigation team.

Fingers crossed.