A committee appointed by the Indian Supreme Court recommended a two-year ban on the Indian Premier League (IPL) teams Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) on Tuesday over the betting scandal that hit the tournament in 2013. The panel also proposed that Gurunath Meiyappan, a former CSK official, and Raj Kundra, the co-owner of RR, be suspended from being associated with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for five years and banned for life from all cricket matches.
Meiyappan is the son-in-law of N. Srinivasan, who is the chief of International Cricket Council. The committee led by Justice R.M. Lodha found Meiyappan guilty of betting in the Season 6 of the IPL and said that he acted in gross violation of the anti-corruption code and IPL’s operational rules. The committee also said that the betting by Meiyappan and Kundra had tarnished the image of the game, the BCCI and the IPL to an extent that any cricket game is now being looked at with distrust.
"He (Meiyappan) is found guilty of betting, his conduct affected image of BCCI, the (T20) league and the game," Lodha said, according to the Hindustan Times, adding: "Raj Kundra was placing bets through a known punter and was constantly in touch with bookies."
Lodha did not rule out criminal action against Meiyappan and Kundra, and said that criminal liability of their teams has not been calculated by the committee yet, Live Mint, a local newspaper reported.
The panel is also set to find out more about the role of IPL's Chief Operating Officer Sundar Raman and look into “his activities, and if found guilty, impose a suitable punishment upon him on behalf of the BCCI,” Live Mint reported.
The court has also reportedly asked the committee to make necessary recommendations to BCCI “with a view to preventing sporting frauds, conflict of interests, streamlining the working of the BCCI to make it more responsive to the expectations of the public at large and to bring transparency in practices and procedures followed by BCCI.”
The case first gained public attention in 2013 when three cricketers from the RR team -- S. Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan -- were arrested for betting by the Delhi police. Meiyappan and Vindoo Dara Singh, a local actor, were also arrested for their involvement in the case. Srinivasan, who was formerly the head of BCCI, also holds the post of vice-president and managing director of India Cements, which owned CSK at the time. In February, however, India Cements transferred the ownership to a wholly-owned subsidiary called Chennai Super Kings Ltd., Live Mint reported.
The CSK cricket team, which is led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni, had won the tournament in 2010 and 2011, and finished second in 2008, 2012, 2013 and 2015. RR won the tournament only once in 2008.