Indian captain MS Dhoni came under severe criticism on Thursday for his conduct in shielding BCCI president N Srinivasan's son-in-law, Gurunath Meiyappan, in the IPL spot-fixing case.
Harish Salve, former solicitor general and senior counsel, launched a scathing attack on Dhoni for giving "wrong" statement before the Justice Mudgal-led committee to "shield" Meiyappan role in the scandal.
Meiyappan has been named in the report submitted by court appointed three-member committee to look into the spot-fixing scandal.
Emphasising the conflict of interest of Srinivasan, Salve argued in the Supreme Court for two-and-a-half hours for petitioner Cricket Association of Bihar and said Dhoni is the captain of Chennai Super Kings (CSK), whose owner is Indian Cements that is promoted by Srinivasan. Dhoni is also the vice-president of India Cements and his "cover up act" amounted to "corrupt practice", he said.
The senior lawyer contended that there is a conflict of interest of Srinivasan and questioned Dhoni's conduct in the entire episode. "I have admired Dhoni's skills on the field. However, possibly by error of judgement, he not only took a job as vice-president in India Cements but he appeared before Mudgal comm (with Srini) and asserted that Meiyappan had no connection with CSK. A cover up to save M (Meiyappan) is corruption," Salve tweeted after the court proceedings.
"...as defined in the relevant regulations. That was my submission in the SC (Supreme Court). Also that I can't believe that capt of CSK (Dhoni) didn't know M's role," he further said.
Repeating that Meiyappan is guilty of corruption, Salve alleged that Dhoni lied before the panel saying "Meiyappan had nothing to do with cricket but he is a cricket enthusiast".
Concluding his submissions, Salve sought the court to pass order for removal of Srinivasan forthwith and an appropriate order for Meiyappan as there are sufficient evidence against them for their involvement in the corruption. He also sought suspension of CSK.
Accepting his arguments, the bench proposed the name of Sunil Gavaskar in the place of Srinivasan, who offered to step aside from the post till the disciplinary proceedings gets over.
The bench indicated that in its interim order, it will restrain CSK and Rajasthan Royals, whose players were also involved, from participating in the coming IPL 7.