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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that maintaining the “purity” of cricket was utmost important for it and hinted at setting up a high-powered committee to suggest measures for cleansing the game hit by allegations of betting and spot-fixing and ascertain if there was conflict of interest involving BCCI’s President-in-exile N Srinivasan.
“That committee has to be a high-powered committee and that committee will also look into the conflict of interest and its findings will be binding on BCCI,” a bench of justices TS Thakur and FMI Kalifulla observed while hinting that the committee would consist of retired judges.
The apex court took exception to Srinivasan attending Tamil Nadu Cricket Association’s meeting in November after he had voluntarily stepped aside as cricket administrator, forcing him to admit that it was mistake on his part. The bench said somebody has to take a call on the punishment on the basis of the Mudgal Committee report but the question is who should be given the task.
“We are not very keen to decide on punishment. We want the system to be more effective,” the bench said adding “action has to follow immediately”.
Though Justice Mudgal committee has not found anything regarding the “cover-up” by Srinivasan for alleged involvement of his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan in betting and spot-fixing scandal, the bench said the high powered committee would have to examine various angles and the issue of conflict of interest would be one.
“Conflict of interest issue can be a course correction for future. If committee says there was a conflict of interest in Srinivasan’s function, it cannot say punish but suggest for amendments in the rule,” it said adding the committee would also look into the aspect of whether a person’s involvement in cricket administration while wearing multiple hats amounts to conflict of interest.
The bench said the committee would examine and analyse the aspect of quantum of punishment likely to be inflicted upon persons found guilty of breaching the code of conduct.
The committee will also look into whether Srinivasan’s role is objectionable in the drama and if the role of Meiyappan and Srinivasan requires punishment, then what punishment. [PTI]