According to a well-placed source, former India skipper Sourav Ganguly is expected to be part of the Justice Mukul Mudgal Committee which was, on Friday, empowered by the Supreme Court to probe the allegations of corruption against ousted BCCI president N Srinivasan and 12 others in the IPL betting and spot-fixing case.
"We are of the considered opinion that the allegations against the 13 persons, including Mr N Srinivasan, mentioned in the report submitted in the sealed cover should be investigated into by the Justice Mudgal Committee...," a bench headed by Justice AK Patnaik said in its order. The committee will have to submit its findings in a sealed envelope by the end of August.
The panel, which also comprises additional solicitor general L Nageswar Rao and Assam Cricket Association member Nilay Datta, will be assisted by senior IPS officer BB Mishra, who is the deputy director-general, narcotics control bureau, New Delhi. The committee will be assisted by an officer (preferably not below the rank of assistant commissioner) each from the police forces of Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi, and a former cricketer of repute and integrity. They will be handpicked by the committee. It is understood that Ganguly has acceded to Mudgal's request to come on board. The Kolkata-based icon, who is scheduled to leave for London in a day or two, will join the investigations as soon as he returns.
Significantly enough, the apex court has vested in the committee "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". It didn't, however, give the committee the power to carry out arrests.
The BCCI informed the court that its working committee had decided to constitute a three-member panel comprising former Calcutta high court chief justice JN Patel, former CBI director RK Raghavan and former India skipper Ravi Shastri. The court, however, appointed the Justice Mudgal Committee "because 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".
"All concerned persons in the BCCI, including Mr N Srinivasan and the cricket players, will co-operate with the investigation in all respects. In case of any difficulty, the committee may apply to this Court for necessary orders for the purpose of completing the investigation," the court ruled, adding that the committee and the investigation team will not reveal anything regarding the investigation to others and the media and will maintain absolute confidentiality.
For the record, the BCCI will bear all the expenses of travel, boarding and lodging of the chairman and members of the committee. Each of them will be entitled to fees of Rs 1 lakh per working day. This expense will also be borne by the BCCI. In addition, the Union and concerned state governments will continue to compensate Mishra and all other officers of the team of investigation. The BCCI will reimburse the appropriate government accordingly. The cricketer of repute will also be entitled to the said fees of Rs 1 lakh per working day and other expenses.
In the meanwhile, Sunil Gavaskar (interim BCCI president, IPL-related affairs) and Shivlal Yadav (interim BCCI president for all other matters) will continue to carry out their respective functions.