Kerala High Court lifts life ban on cricketer S Sreesanth

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In a relief to cricketer S Sreesanth, the Kerala High Court today lifted the life ban imposed on him by the BCCI in the wake of the 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal.

In his order, Justice A Muhamed Mustaque also set aside all proceedings against Sreesanth initiated by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

The court had earlier sought the BCCI’s stand on the plea by the cricketer challenging the life ban imposed upon him by the game’s governing body following the 2013 Indian Premier League-6 spot-fixing scandal.

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The BCCI had filed a counter-affidavit on the issue in the court in response to the plea by Sreesanth, who had challenged the life ban despite a court dropping all charges against the 34-year-old pacer.

The cricket board had said, “The decision of the sessions court to acquit the petitioner from the criminal charges has no impact whatsoever on the decision of the internal disciplinary committee of the BCCI to ban the petitioner from playing cricket tournaments organised by the BCCI and/or its affiliates.”

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It had said the question before the court was whether the petitioner (and other accused) was liable to incur penal consequences under relevant criminal statutes.

On the other hand, the question before the BCCI Disciplinary Committee was whether the petitioner was guilty of match fixing, corruption and gambling and violation of the internal disciplinary rules of the BCCI, the board had said.

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The standard of proof required under a penal statute was much higher than the proof required for a disciplinary inquiry, it had said.

All the 36 accused, including Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila were let off in the spot-fixing case by a Patiala House court in July 2015.

The BCCI, however, had refused to alter its disciplinary decision even after the verdict.

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