Qaiser Mohammad Ali
Retired judge Mukul Mudgal, who probed the 2013 IPL betting-fixing scandal twice over on the order of the Supreme Court, says IPL COO Sundar Raman should have resigned earlier as his conduct was under the scanner.
Raman, after being ‘told by BCCI president Shashank Manohar’ to go, resigned on Tuesday – more than a month before the Supreme Court-appointed Lodha Committee determines quantum of punishment for him in his report.
“I think he should have resigned [earlier]. But I can’t impose my views on anybody. It was a call for him to take,” Mudgal, a former chief justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, told www.jantakareporter.comFormer BCCI president N. Srinivasan (left) with his trusted lieutenant and IPL COO Sundar Raman.
“There are two opinions about it. Some people feel that just because an investigation is on there is no ground for resignation. Some people take that view that since your conduct is being investigated you should be out of it,” Mudgal said.
“I think he has followed a midway course, perhaps,” he said and smiled.
Mudgal, however, feels that Raman’s resignation would not change the course of the Lodha Committee Report, which has to be submitted by December 31.
“I don’t think it will have much impact because his [Raman’s] continuation has no connection with the Lodha Committee’s Report. They are investigating his role in the IPL, but the resignation will not have any effect on the report,” he said. “But the probe will continue. How can it stop if somebody resigns?”
The charge against Raman is that he was aware that two IPL franchise owners allegedly betting on IPL matches, and that he was in touch with a contact of a bookie.
In his second report, the Mudgal Committee wrote of Raman, “He knew a contact of a bookie and had contacted him eight times in one season. He admitted knowing the contact of the bookies but however claimed to be unaware of his connection with betting activities. He also accepted that he had received information about Meiyappan and [Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj] Kundra taking part in betting activities but was informed by ICC-ACSU chief that this was not actionable information.”
Earlier, in its first report, submitted in February last year, Mudgal Committee had said, “The Committee in relation to IPL franchisees in general and Mr. [Gurunath] Meiyappan in particular questioned Mr. Sundar Raman as to who an owner of a team is, to which he replied that the ownership structures of teams are in general ambiguous. Mr. Raman further stated that the term ‘owner’ for the purpose of accreditation is loosely used and has no implication, while identifying an owner under the franchise agreement. He further stated that the status of an ultimate owner is not clear, but may be read as per the Franchise Agreement. Mr. Raman also admitted that the IPL Governing Council had not made any effort to determine who the ultimate owners of the franchisees were.”
On Tuesday, Mudgal said Raman was intelligent and a good organiser.
“He is a very intelligent person, let me tell you. And he was a very good organiser of the IPL. No doubt about it because he is a highly qualified person. But the allegation was that he did not act against the allegations against two persons, franchisees, who were betting. That is what we investigated,” he said.