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probe panel in trouble

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Chouta finds it tough; Muthiah calls for dissolution of panel New Delhi (PTI): Justice T Jayaram Chouta, who was appointed as one of the members of ...

Chouta finds it tough; Muthiah calls for dissolution of panel New Delhi (PTI): Justice T Jayaram Chouta, who was appointed as one of the members of inquiry commission to investigate the IPL spot-fixing scandal, Saturday said it was not possible for the committee to function unless all three members are there. "The team is not there, only two members are there. Unless the commission is there, I don't think we can function now," said Justice Chouta. He insisted that it was left to the BCCI to appoint some other person following Board secretary Sanjay Jagdale's decision to step down from his post and out of the probe panel. "It is left to the BCCI to appoint some other person. Last night, we came to know about the resignation of Mr. Sanjay Jagdale," he said. Justice Chouta, Justice R Balasubramanian, former Judge of the Madras High Court, and Jagdale were in the three-member inquiry commission, which was appointed by the BCCI to go into the allegations against Gurunath Meiyappan, son-in-law of N Srinivasan, who has been arrested on charges of betting in the recently-concluded Indian Premier League matches. Meanwhile, Jagdale reiterated the BCCI needed some new faces to come in. "I have been deeply hurt by the latest developments that took place in Indian cricket in the last few days. I was hurt just in a way millions of cricket fans have been hurt since I as a former player am attached to the game for so long. "Some changes needs to be done and I thought it's better to get out so that some new faces come in," said Jagdale. He, however, added that "not everyone is corrupt in the BCCI". Meanwhile, Former BCCI president A C Muthiah on Saturday called for dissolution of the three-member inquiry commission, constituted by the BCCI to go into allegations of betting in IPL against embattled Board chief N Srinivasan's son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, in the wake of Sanjay Jagdale's resignation from the panel. Only two members are left in the probe panel after the resignation of Cricket Board secretary Jagdale, who withdrew from the commission that was set up to prove allegations of betting against CSK Team Principal Meiyappan, the Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals franchise whose players were arrested for their alleged role in spot-fixing. "Whoever appointed the 3-member committee, will realise the total illegality of constitution of the probe committee and dissolve the said committee rather than create more confusion and embarrass the 2 retired judges of Madras High Court by filling up the vacancy created by the resignation of Mr. Jadgale," Muthiah said in a statement. Saying that the BCCI cannot be treated like a private club, Muthiah called for Srinivasan's resignation. "In the present circumstances there is no other option except for Mr N Srinivasan to resign from the post of President of BCCI in order to maintain probity in public life. BCCI cannot be treated like a private club," he said. "As the Board controls the profession of Cricketers, its actions are required to be judged and viewed by higher standards. It is furthermore unfortunate that room for suspicion has been created that all its dealings are not fair. The Board has been accused of shady dealings and double standards". Muthiah said the constitution of the probe panel by BCCI was unacceptable as the issue of conflict of interest was involved in the exercise. "The appointment of the panel has been made by BCCI of which Mr N Srinivasan is the President. Even though Mr N Srnivasan has made a statement that he will distance himself from the probe it is incongruous that the probe panel is appointed by BCCI whose President is Mr N Srinivasan and BCCI will be assisting the panel in the investigation when the franchisee of Chennai Super King is India Cements Ltd of which Mr Srinivasan is the Vice President and Managing Director," Muthiah said. "Conflict of interest is very blatant leading to grave doubts about the efficacy of the probe," he said.
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Further, questioning the appointment of the panel, Muthiah said, "It is not clear which Committee of the BCCI has appointed the 3-member probe committee. The terms of reference have also not been published. Also it is unfortunate that BCCI has chosen to constitute the 3-member Committee when there is no power for the BCCI to constitute the said committee as per the constitution of the BCCI and IPL and all Rules and Regulations, the Franchise agreement and the Anti Corruption Code. BCCI has been ill advised to constitute the committee. "The Memorandum and Rules and Regulations of the BCCI do not contemplate the constitution of a 3-member panel for going into allegations of misconduct by IPL Franchisees/Owners. Rule 32 of the Rules and Regulations of BCCI only refers to procedure to deal with misconduct of players, umpires, Team officials, administrators, referees and selectors and any person appointed or employed by BCCI.
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