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Supreme Court to hear Mudgal panel report on IPL-6 scandal today

New Delhi: The day most Indian cricket fans were waiting for in trepidation is finally here as the Supreme Court on Monday takes up for hearing the final report filed by the Justice Mukul Mudgal Committee on the involvement of sidelined BCCI President N. Srinivasan and 12 capped India players in betting and spot-fixing during IPL 2013.

What hangs in balance is the fate of Srinivasan (will he get a clean chit and return to the helm of BCCI affairs?), cricketers including captain M.S. Dhoni who is also believed to have been questioned, the future of IPL teams Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR), Srinivasan's son-in-law and former CSK team principal Gurunath Meiyappan, and RR co-owner Raj Kundra.

Raju Ramachandran, the senior lawyer representing the Mudgal panel, had on November 3 filed the report in a sealed cover and a bench headed by Justice T.S. Thakur said confidentiality shall be maintained till the court takes up the report.

Justice A.K. Patnaik, who appointed the Mudgal panel in October 2013 and made several tough observations against BCCI and Srinivasan after the preliminary findings, retired on June 2 and the stand of the new bench headed by Justice Thakur will be keenly observed.

Justice Mudgal, who expressed satisfaction with the panel's work, refused to divulge anything about the content of the report saying "the court has demanded confidentiality. It is up to the Supreme Court whether it finds our work satisfactory. We complied with the order. Now the court will decide the course of action."

The panel had in its preliminary report in February this year put Srinivasan's role and the conflict of interest aspect under close scrutiny, indicted Meiyappan and pointed fingers at the role of 12 "prominent names in cricket" including capped Indian players, following which the court ordered the committee to conduct a deeper investigation.

However, according to sources close to the panel, the final report has put the spotlight on Meiyappan and CSK's role in the whole scandal. Also RR's coowner Kundra and his supposed involvement and Arun Pandey-owned Rhiti Sports' functioning have also come under the scanner.

The panel has also suggested some steps which it thinks will curb the menace of spot-fixing and match-fixing. "Firstly the emphasis is on CSK and Meiyappan. It is no secret that CSK also tried to hide Meiyappan's involvement, and that could prompt the sternest punishment. Next in line is Kundra and his whole role in the fiasco. It could lead to Rajasthan Royals also suffering, but maybe not as much as CSK," the source told MAIL TODAY.

"The committee has also decided to suggest ways to prevent such occurrences. Also on the radar is Rhiti's business model. But one has to realise that these are all suggestions and the final verdict lies with the Supreme Court," the source added.

The Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) has confirmed that the voices of Meiyappan and actor Vindoo Dara Singh matched with those in the tapped telephonic conversation in which they were discussing betting. This is likely to add to the troubles for both of them. The apex court in May asked Srinivasan to keep away from all BCCI affairs till the probe was over and he is cleared. The court had appointed former Test cricketer Shivlal Yadav as the working president of the Board.

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