news Tuesday, July 14, 2015 - 05:30
The Lodha Committee has declared the quantum of punishment for Gurunath Meiyappan and Raj Kundra in the IPL spot-fixing case, suspending Meiyappan and Kundra for life with regard to cricket-related activities and have suspended the Chennai Super Kings and the Rajasthan Royals' franchise for a period of two years. In a press conference in Delhi, the committee added that the duo had been found guilty of bringing disrepute to the game and were found guilty of breaching the IPL's operational rules. While addressing the media, the bench said that Meiyappan had brought the game into disrepute and had brought a bad name to the BCCI, IPL and the game of cricket itself. "Difficult to accept that he has passion for the game," Justice Lodha said of Meiyappan. Meiyappan and Kundra are associated with the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) franchises respectively. While Meiyappan was called a 'fan' of the CSK, the SC had called him the de-facto owner of the franchise. Kundra is a co-owner of the Rajasthan Royals franchise. The duo was in the dock after having been found guilty of betting in IPL matches and the committee was expected to announce a quantum of punishment for the duo. The verdict was damning for the CSK and the RR, and both IPL franchises had laid in wait the verdict of the Lodha Committee. Both sides have now been suspended for a period of two years according to the IPL operational rules. The three-member committee had been constituted in January 22 this year and is chaired by Justice Lodha and comprises former SC judges Ashok Bhan and RV Raveendran. It was set up to decide the punishment for Kundra, Meiyappan and their franchises. Meiyappan, who is the son-in-law of ICC chief N Srinivasan and Kundra, husband of Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty have also cast uncertainty over the future of their franchises, both of which are facing charges of a breach of the IPL code of conduct. In its report, the Mudgal Committee which had been tasked with looking into the matter had concluded that Meiyappan was the de-facto owner of the franchise, after attempts were made to make him look like a fan. It was found that Meiyappan had been in constant touch with bookies. Srinivasan and his family own India Cements, which in turn owns the CSK franchise. In November 2014, the SC had said that Meiyappan’s role in the scandal was like “insider trading”. Kundra is a co-owner of the RR franchise, and the Mudgal Committee had said that the businessman had arranged for bets to be placed on his behalf, was in touch with bookies and was friends with a punter. The IPL is formed by eight franchises and the issue is a concern for the cricket league with two teams under scrutiny. The apex court in the land had earlier said that the “The order passed by the (Justice Lodha) Committee shall be final and binding upon the BCCI and the parties concerned.” The committee is also expected to announce the sentence for IPL COO Sundar Raman and suggest measures to improve the functioning of the BCCI in later verdicts.
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