The future of the IPL is now at stake, as the fate of the two most popular teams – Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals will be known when the Supreme Court appointed high-level committee, headed by former Chief Justice of India RM Lodha, pronounces the quantum of punishment against the two franchisees and their team officials Gurunath Meiyappan and Rajasthan Royals co-owner, businessman Raj Kundra, husband of actress Shilpa Shetty, for betting during season six of the Indian Premier League.
At a crowded press conference at the India Habitat Centre in New Delhi, R M Lodha announced the findings. Based on the findings, N Srinivasan’s son-in-law, Gurunath Meiyappan, has been found guilty. He placed multiple bets and hence, is banned for 5 years and is suspended for life from cricket. Meiyappan’s conduct affected the image of BCCI, IPL, the players and others associated with the tournament, added Justice Lodha.
Rajasthan Royals’ co-owner Raj Kundra, has been declared ineligible from taking part in cricket for five years and suspended for life from being involved with the BCCI, said Justice Lodha. After investigation, it was found that Raj Kundra was placing bets through punters, says Justice Lodha. Raj Kundra is a first time offender but his first misconduct has affected the image of the game of cricket.
In a big blow to the IPL , the SC panel has suspended the Chennai Super Kings for 2 years. It is owned by India Cements, headed by N Srinivasan. The Rajasthan Royals too have been handed a 2 year suspension by the panel.
It may be recalled that the apex court, on 22nd January 2015, had held that the allegation of betting against Meiyappan, son-in-law of former Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president and current ICC chairman N Srinivasan, and Kundra stands proved, while the charge of cover up against Srinivasan was “not proved”. The court then set up the three-member committee of retired judges, including Justices Ashok Bhan and RV Raveendran, to determine the punishment for Meiyappan and Rajasthan Royals co-owner Kundra.
Under the IPL rules, the franchise of a team can be cancelled if a team official indulges in any act that brings the game to disrepute. The court had rejected the claims of Meiyappan, who had previously been described as team principal of Chennai Super Kings (CSK), that he was merely an enthusiast.