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New Delhi, November 18, 2014 (Agencies) ICC chairman N Srinivasan has been cleared of the charges of match-fixing in IPL 2013 by the Supreme Court-appointed Justice Mudgal panel but received a rap over the knuckles for not taking action against an unidentified player for violating the code of conduct.  In a major relief to the one-time BCCI president, the panel’s report released on Monday stated that he was not involved in match-fixing activity or in scuttling the investigation into it. Srinivasan’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, however, has been indicted of involvement in betting, while IPL team Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra and cricket administrator Sundar Raman have been found guilty of being in touch with bookies, by the panel. 

The three-member panel, headed by former Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal, in its report said, “This individual (Srinivasan) is not involved in  match-fixing activity. This individual was not found to be involved in scuttling the investigation into match-fixing.”  “This individual along with other four BCCI officials (names undisclosed) was aware of the violation of the Players’ Code of Conduct by individual 3 (unidentified), but no action was taken against individual 3 by any of the aforesaid officials who were aware of this infraction,” the panel added.

The report indicting Srinivasan of only inaction could help him contest the polls for the post of BCCI president if he successfully contests the charge in the apex court.  The panel, comprising senior advocate L Nageswara Rao and advocate Nilay Dutta, had submitted its final report to the court on November 3 after completion of the investigation into betting and spot-fixing charges during IPL-6.

The court had sought responses from Srinivasan, Meiyappan, Kundra and Raman within four days after receiving the copy of the panel’s report. It, however, had ordered blacking out names of cricketers mentioned in the report, as the court did not want to examine the involvement of players, for now.

Dealing with the role of Meiyappan, the report said, “Due to the scientific evidence of voice matching and the testimony of security personnel recorded by the investigating team, the finding about the betting activities of individual 1 (Meiyappan) and the finding that he was a team official stand confirmed.” Immediately after the emergence of Meiyappan’s name in connection with betting last year, the BCCI had reportedly claimed that he was merely a cricket enthusiast and was not officially connected to IPL team Chennai Super Kings (CSK), owned by Srinivasan. The panel, however, concluded that Meiyappan was not guilty of the serious charge of match-fixing.

According to the panel, Kundra, husband of film actress Shilpa Shetty, was in touch with the bookies and did not report his contact to the officials, violating BCCI/IPL anti-corruption code.
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