New Delhi: The Supreme Court Tuesday came down heavily on N. Srinivasan, saying that the BCCI chief must step down to enable a fair investigation into the allegations of betting in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Making it clear that no fair investigation will be possible unless he quit, the court said if Srinivasan did not step down on his own, it would pass an order.
"In our opinion, Srinivasan has to step down for a fair investigation into the allegation of betting," said Justice A.K. Patnaik during the hearing on the report of Justice (retd) Mukul Mudgal, who was asked by the apex court to probe allegations of betting and spot fixing in the IPL.
As senior counsel C.A. Sundaram sought to defend the BCCI, Justice Patnaik said: "We will show the papers. You see them and tell us as a counsel about your opinion and not as a paid counsel for Srinivasan."
At one stage, comparing the two reports - one by an earlier committee comprising two retired judges of the Madras High Court and the other by Justice Mudgal, Justice Patnaik asked: "Can we say that the probe report was managed and if we say so, then what will be the consequences?"
Justice Mudgal in his report to the Supreme Court in February indicted Srinivasan's son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan in the IPL betting scandal.
He also blamed India Cements, owner of Chennai Super Kings, for failing to comply with the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) Anti-Corruption Code for Participants.
Mudgal, who was appointed by the apex court in October last year to file a detailed report on the IPL betting and spot-fixing scandal, said that Meiyappan was "the face and team official" of IPL franchisee Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and "the allegations of betting and passing information" against him "stand proved".
When the betting scandal came to light Srinivasan, who also owns India Cements, had distanced himself from Meiyappan, saying he was just a mere cricket enthusiast.
In a 171-page document submitted to the Supreme Court, Mudgal said the allegations of fixing against Meiyappan as well as Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra need to be further investigated.
Mudgal also said that the BCCI should act against Meiyappan in the same way it did against three Rajasthan Royals cricketers during the pendency of criminal proceedings.