Justice M. Mudgal
Chandigarh: Narayanswamy Srinivasan and his dominant group in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) seem to have “what borders on contempt” for the Justice Mukul Mudgal IPL probe panel.
That’s the assessment of a source who was present at the emergent meeting of the working committee in Mumbai.
The three-member Justice Mudgal panel presented a damning report to the Supreme Court, almost 10 weeks ago, and it has resulted in Srinivasan effectively suspended as the BCCI president.
So, when former president Shashank Manohar proposed the name of India’s additional solicitor-general L.Nageswar Rao for the BCCI’s probe panel, on Sunday, the Srinivasan group’s response was a vehement “nobody from Mudgal.”
Besides Justice Mudgal and Rao, the panel had lawyer Nilay Dutta.
Manohar had a reason for proposing Rao’s name.
“Somebody from the Justice Mudgal panel would know first-hand about the evidence related to the contents of the sealed envelope, containing 13 names (including Srinivasan’s)...
“It wouldn’t then be necessary for the BCCI, as a body, to receive everything related to those 13 names. It’s such a sensitive matter...
“If the sealed envelope reaches the BCCI, there’s every chance of a leak... That has to be avoided. Manohar’s point was simple: Punish the guilty, but the reputation of the rest must not be sullied...
“The BCCI didn’t listen, for Srinivasan’s group has a strong allergy to the Justice Mudgal panel... It borders on contempt,” the source told The Telegraph on Monday.
Strangely, the BCCI also brushed aside Manohar’s proposal to include Somnath Chatterjee on its panel.
The BCCI has settled for Jai Narayan Patel (a former chief justice of the Calcutta high court), one-time Central Bureau of Investigation director R.K. Raghavan and Ravi Shastri, a former India captain.
Patel’s appointment was unanimous, but a division was forced by Manohar over Raghavan and Shastri.
Shastri has consistently been backing Srinivasan. Besides, he has a commentary contract with the BCCI and sits on the IPL’s governing council as well.
An obvious conflict of interest apart, ethical issues are involved.
On Tuesday, we will know if the Supreme Court is satisfied with the three members decided upon by the Srinivasan-dominated BCCI.