The Supreme Court-appointed Justice Mukul Mudgal panel, probing matters related to the IPL scandals, will hold a “review” either on August 15 or 16 to ascertain just where its investigations are placed.
For a variety of reasons, it won’t be a routine review. Absolutely desperate for an ‘update’ would be Narayanswamy Srinivasan, the chairman of the International Cricket Council, who has effectively been suspended as the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
As of now, Justice (retd) Mudgal and his colleagues — L. Nageswar Rao and Nilay Dutta — have time till August 31 to submit their findings to the apex court.
Significantly, the police investigations are being headed by B.B. Misra, deputy director general, operations, of the Narcotics Control Bureau. Misra has, with the consent of the panel, appointed fellow-policemen as “investigators” in Chennai, Mumbai and New Delhi. Given a free hand, Misra is understood to have got on board some of the best in the business.
At this stage, the investigators are the principal figures with their work overseen by the panel. “The panel is currently playing a supervisory role,” a well-placed source told The Telegraph on Monday evening. Besides, former India captain Sourav Ganguly has been assisting as an “expert” in strictly cricket issues.
“Till the review takes place, on August 15 or 16, one can’t say whether Justice Mudgal and his colleagues will meet the deadline. If they can’t, then the Supreme Court would be approached for an extension. The key lies with the investigators. Only they know the status of investigations,” another well-placed source pointed out.
Srinivasan, who has his sights on another (three-year) term as the Board president, wants the probe to be completed well before the AGM, which is usually held in the last week of September. No wonder Srinivasan is desperate for an early closure.
For the record, Srinivasan continues to insist he’s done no wrong and can’t be held accountable for the alleged misdeeds of son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan. Those wanting cricket to be clean have high expectations from Justice Mudgal. For his part, the former chief justice of Punjab and Haryana has vowed to be “fair.”
“Justice Mudgal is not out to fix anybody. At the same time, if investigations throw up something big, he won’t dilute things,” a confidant maintained.
Back in February, during the panel’s first innings, Justice Mudgal and his colleagues gave a sealed cover to the apex court. It featured 13 names, including Srinivasan’s. That bunch is being investigated.