Justice RM Lodha has urged the Vinod Rai led Committee of Administrators (CoA) to probe the alleged bookie-Indian cricketer link which was reported by The Indian Express on Thursday and give a report to the Hon. Supreme Court.
“The best thing now is for the Committee of Administrators, which is in charge of BCCI affairs, to immediately order an investigation into it. The CoA should now take initiative and take this issue to the logical conclusion. They already have an Anti-Corruption Unit. They have the power to probe this,” Justice Lodha told The Indian Express.
He added: “If for any reason they don’t do it, they should apply to the Supreme Court and get somebody appointed by the court to look into this. The CoA, by way of application or report, should bring this to the notice of the Supreme Court. The CoA regularly submits compliance reports (updates on the implementation of the Lodha reforms) to the Supreme Court and so they should inform the SC.”
Police officer BB Mishra, who was the lead investigator of the 2014 IPL spot-fixing scandal, had told the Indian Express, that a top Indian international cricketer was in touch with a bookie during the 2008-09 season and was also a part of the 2011 World Cup winning squad.
“I have observed in my report also that match-fixing is not possible but spot-fixing is possible and it does happen. And there is a nexus between players and bookies and those who play these kinds of mischief,” Justice Lodha said.
Mishra has confirmed that he had spoken to the bookie days before the deadline for submission of the report to the apex court and didn’t have enough time to investigate the matter further. “It was a phone conversation (between the player and the bookie) that was recorded. It would have taken a lot more time (beyond) October 31,” Misra told this paper.
“The Supreme Court did tell us that if the Lodha Committee wishes to have a look into it (Misra report) in the discharge of the mandate, they are authorized to do. But we did not think there was a need. Our mandate was to look at the misconduct of the two teams, CSK and Rajasthan Royals, and reforms. So we did not go into it,” Justice Lodha said.
(with inputs from Indian Express)