New Delhi, May 16 (IANS): The Supreme Court Friday appointed Justice Mukul Mudgal - the retired chief justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court - to probe the spot-fixing and betting allegations against 13 people, including some cricketers who played the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2013, and inaction by board president N. Srinivasan.
An apex court bench of Justice A.K. Patnaik and Justice Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla said Justice Mudgal will be assisted by senior IPS officer B.B. Mishra, who is the deputy director general of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).
Mishra will head the investigating team with Justice Mudgal, the court said. The team will have three police officers, one each from police forces from Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai. A past cricketer of repute will also be inducted in the probe team to assist Justice Mudgal.
Justifying the handing over investigation to Justice Mudgal, the court in its order said: "If a new probe committee is entrusted to inquire into the allegations, there is likelihood of the allegations being leaked to the public and such leakage will damage the reputation of the 13 persons beyond repair."
Except for arresting, the investigating team will have all the powers to call and examine the people and record their statements, the court said, Srinivasan has agreed to extend full cooperation to the team.
"Shri B.B. Mishra and the other officers of the investigating team will have the powers to investigate, require attendance of witnesses, the power to examine witnesses, the power to search and the power to seize and all other powers necessary for investigation except the power to arrest. And the source of these powers of investigation will be this order passed by this Courta," the court said.
The apex court asked the government to issue necessary notification for setting up the probe team and making available Mishra's services.
"All concerned persons including the BCCI, Mr.N. Srinivasan and the cricket players will co-operate with the investigation in all respects," the court said.
The court directed the matter be listed in the first week of September. The report will be submitted in a sealed cover to the court and none of the members of probe panel will disclose its contents to anyone or speak to media.
"After investigation, the report will be filed in this court by the Justice Mudgal committee by the end of August, 2014 in a sealed cover. And the members of the committee and the investigation team will not reveal anything regarding the investigation to others and the media and will maintain absolute confidentiality", said the order.
On April 29, Justice Mudgal conveyed his consent to undertake the probe into the allegations that surfaced in the course of an earlier inquiry conducted by him on the directions of the court.
Justice Mudgal was asked to undertake investigation after the apex court cold shouldered three-member probe panel -- Kolkata High Court former chief justice J.N. Patel, former all-rounder Ravi Shastri and former CBI director R.K. Raghavan suggested by the BCCI.