Despite the MCOCA court dropping all charges against Rajasthan Royals players S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan in the IPL6 spot-fixing case on Saturday, the BCCI stood by its decision to ban the players.
The court discharged 36 accused arrested by police as it found no evidence against them. All the accused are out on bail as of today. Police had in all chargesheeted 42 accused, including underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and Chhota Shakeel.
However, the major setback for BCCI was that in contrast to the findings of its three-man disciplinary committee of N Srinivasan, Arun Jaitley and Niranjan Shah, the court found no evidence against the players to frame any charges and hence acquitted them.
BCCI responded soon after claiming that the decision of its independent committee remains "unaltered".
"Any disciplinary proceeding or decision taken by the BCCI is independent to any criminal proceeding and has no bearing," the board's official press release said. "The decisions of the BCCI, based on its independent disciplinary action, shall remain unaltered.
"BCCI will not make further comments in this regard."
That effectively means the bans handed out to the players in 2013 will stay as is.
While Sreesanth and Chavan are serving a life ban from all forms of cricket, player cum bookie Amit Singh is serving a five-year ban and Siddarth Trivedi was banned for a year.
The RR players, who were at the court praying for a decision in their favour, expressed their relief after three stressful years, seeking quick return to cricket.
"I am feeling very happy and want to start training soon. I hope BCCI gives me the permission to use the training facilities. I want to get back into the selection process. God has been extremely kind," Sreesanth, who broke down after the verdict, said.
Chavan and Chandila expressed similar emotions.
"I am looking forward to play cricket. It was a tough time for me as a cricketer but the support from family and friends helped me a lot," said Chavan.
"I had full faith in the judiciary and my God. I am sure BCCI will allow me to return to cricket," Chandila said outside the court on Saturday.
However, BCCI's response will once again hurt the players, and it will be interesting to see if the trio challenges it in court.