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Justice Mukul Mudgal looks for suitable candidates to help him clean Indian cricket

Thursday, 24 April 2014 - 6:15am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: dna

In the run up to the April 29 deadline to submit his proposals before the Supreme Court, justice Mukul Mudgal has a tough task of finding "suitable candidates" who can help him clean cricket in India.

He is looking for few "competent" police officers, retired or serving, and a "clean" former India cricketer who can all come together and help his three-member panel to dig out the truth in the much-talked about IPL betting and spot-fixing allegations.

This comes after the apex court on Tuesday rejected the BCCI-proposed names for the probe panel and tasked justice Mudgal-led committee to further investigate the scandal.

Justice Mudgal didn't waste a moment after sending his consent to the apex court and got down to the job immediately, according to a source. His prime focus, apparently, is to zero in on a few names of serving or former police officers who at some point of time in their career were involved in investigating betting or match-fixing scandals.

"One needs to understand that the panel members, on their own, can't investigate everything. It has to be seen if they would want CBI help or help from the state police would do?" a source told dna on Wednesday.

But the ambit of the probe will be limited to the 13 names that figure in the sealed envelope that the Mudgal committee submitted before the court in February. As per the court, one of the names is that of suspended BCCI president N Srinivasan.

"One thing is for sure... the panel is looking for competent police officers, who have past experience in this kind of investigation. Few names have already been discussed but the final list will be known by next Tuesday when it will be submitted in court," the source said.

dna has learnt that the justice Mudgal panel wants a former India player in their team to enable it to understand the cricket intricacies properly in the context of the probe.

"The problem, nowadays, with almost all cricketers is that they are on BCCI payroll for one reason or the other. The names of Mohinder Amarnath along with two former captains are doing the rounds but it would just be too early to comment on this," the source said.

Contentious issue
It has been learnt that apart from finalising names to be submitted in court, there is one contentious issue that justice Mudgal and one of his panel colleague, additional solicitor general L Nageswara Rao, are dealing with — that is retaining their third colleague, senior advocate Nilay Dutta, in the panel.

This is in regard to Dutta's insistence on submitting his "minority" report to apex court separately. It must be mentioned here that it was Dutta who mentioned the name of IPS officer Sampath Kumar along with two current Indian players in his submission.

"Justice Mudgal and Rao wanted a combined report to be submitted to the apex court but Dutta had his own views. Though, his report was probably more damning than the other and pointed fingers towards at least two current players, but a panel should only submit one report and not separate ones," the source tried to explain the reason.

On his part, Dutta has already denied allegations that he was trying to protect officials of the Indian cricket authority. But the fact remains that Dutta called for forensic tests of all recorded conversations between IPL team owners and bookies before indicting them, sparking off allegations that he was probably attempting a cover-up for the top brass of the BCCI.

It will all be in the hands of the Supreme Court if it would insist on continuing with the same three-member probe panel under justice Mudgal or would allow one of its members to be replaced by someone else. A clearer picture, of course, will emerge next Tuesday.




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