The keenly awaited verdict of the Justice Lodha committee on IPL betting and match-fixing scandal is out. The committee has suspended the owners of owners of Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals for a period of two years. It also banned Gurunath Meiyappan, former CSK principal and Raj Kundra, former co-owner for Rajastahn Royals for life from participating in any cricket-related activity.
It is believed to be a landmark judgement in the history of Indian cricket. Here is what Justice Lodha said in the verdict:
Jaipur IPL claims it is highly celebrated as a nursery of players. But three of its players have accused of alleged spot-fixing. This shows that all is not well in their handling of affairs. The committee imposes sanctions on Jaipur IPL franchise (Rajasthan Royals): Suspend it from the league for a period of two years
We find it difficult to accept their proposal that there was no evidence of misconduct against India cements. The committee has not given a mandate to determine the wrong doing. The Supreme court has already found there was wrong doing by the two officials. Moreover Gurunath is the son in law of N Srinivasan, who was managing directed of India Cements. Gurunath was also the face of CSK. So consequently the actions of such persons brings the BCCI, the game to disrepute.
The committee proposes to impose sanctions on India Cements franchise (Chennai Super Kings): Suspend it for a period of two years
"As part owner having 11.7% of the franchise, Kundra should have conducted in accordance of his station. Betting is a crime punishable in India and it is corrupt practice against BCCI constitution. It is difficult to accept that as a UK citizen, he did not know that betting was against the law in India. Kundra's very first misconduct has brought disrepute to cricket, BCCI and IPL. Cricket is special to millions of people. It is really difficult to measure the harm caused by these people against the people of India.
The committee imposes the following sanctions against Raj Kundra: He is declared ineligible from participating in cricket for five years. He is suspended for life. He is suspended for life from being involved in the BCCI from any type of cricket matches. The above sanctions shall run concurrently and shall commence from the date of this order."
The fact that Gurunath was an integral part of CSK and most people saw him as the face of the team, he ought not to have indulged in betting practices". He acted in gross violation against the anti-corruption code. He acted exactly opposite to the fundamental sporting practices," said Lodha. The habit of regularly placing bets in IPL matches renders his first offender status. He suffered 60 lakh loss. Any hardship he suffered in terms of media coverage is too small in terms of his bringing the game into disrepute. It is difficult to accept he has passion for the game. No sports loving person will do such things. It has shaken the very sense of cricket.
The commitee accordingly imposes the following sanctions on Gurunath: He is declared ineligible in particpating in the sport of cricket for a maximum of five years. Two: He is suspended for life. And three: he is suspended for life from being involved in any time of cricket matches. The above sanctions commence from the date of this order.