“Disrepute has been brought to cricket, the BCCI and the IPL to such an extent that there are doubts abound in the public whether the game is clean or not,” Justice Lodha said.
Meiyappan, the former Team Principal of CSK, and Kundra, co-owner of the Rajasthan Royals, were suspended for life for indulging in betting and bringing the IPL and the game into disrepute.
The punishment was handed down by a Supreme Court- appointed three-member committee, headed by former Chief Justice of India R M Lodha, putting a spanner on the high- profile T20 league, which began in 2008.
“He (Meiyappan) is declared ineligible for participation in the sport of cricket as explained in the anti-corruption code for a maximum period of five years under article 2.2.1. Two: He is suspended for life from activities as explained in article 7.5 under level 4. And three: he is suspended for life from being involved in any type of cricket matches under section 6, rule 4.2. The above sanctions commence from the date of this order,” Justice Lodha said while giving out the verdict in a packed press conference.
The former CJI then read out exactly the same punishment for Kundra, husband of Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty.
The Committee was constituted by the Supreme Court in January this year with its terms of reference being to announce the quantum of punishment against Meiyappan, Kundra and the two franchisees — India Cements Ltd, owner of CSK and Jaipur IPL, owner of Rajasthan Royals.
“India Cements argued that they have done a lot to grow the game of cricket. But it cannot be a mitigating factor because they as franchise owners did not punish Gurunath, who was clearly identified as a team official, after he was found guilty of betting. It was only the BCCI who suspended Gurunath from participating in cricket,” Justice Lodha said.
“Jaipur IPL claims it is highly celebrated as a nursery of players. But three of its players have been accused of alleged spot-fixing. This shows that all is not well in their handling of affairs. The position of Raj Kundra with the Rajasthan Royals franchise – part owner and team official – means his actions brought the game, BCCI and IPL into disrepute,” he added.
Making scathing remarks against the accused, Justice Lodha said the credibility of the game has been hurt quite grievously.