Well-known lawyer and BJP leader Subramanian Swamy had recently filed a petition with Supreme Court asking for the ban imposed on IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings to be removed. CSK, alongside Rajasthan Royals, had been banned for a period of two years following their involvement in the 2013 spot-fixing scandal and did not feature in the 2016 season. The apex Indian court, however, has taken a stand and dismissed the petition implying that the Chennai-based franchise will not be seen in the 2017 IPL, too.
Swamy had alleged that the entire fiasco that led to the suspension of Chennai Super Kings was nothing but a plot hatched by the Cricket Association of Bihar, former IPL supremo Lalit Modi and former BCCI chief Shashank Manohar to bring down team owner N Srinivasan of India Cements.
“They did not want a Tamilian to build a world class and champion team. When they found that there was no allegation against Srinivasan, they conspired to oust him through devious methods. I have the trail of emails exchanged between Varma, Modi and Manohar to prove the existence of conspiracy,” the Rajya Sabha MP was quoted saying.
He added, “There is no allegation of wrongdoing by CSK or any of its players. Yet, it is banned by the Supreme Court for two years. Srinivasan was targeted unnecessarily because of a conspiracy. The punishment given to the Chennai Super Kings and Srinivasan was arbitrary, especially when the Supreme Court had found no wrongdoing by both.”
The Justice Lodha Committee had advised the Supreme Court to inflict the ban on CSK as one of their officials, Gurunath Meiyappan, who also happens to be Srinivasan's son-in-law, was involved in betting. According to the committee, this action was in line with the rules of the Indian Premier League.
Although Chennai’s two-year suspension impacted the franchise owners negatively, it did not end up having much of a bearing on the players. In fact, most of them were either picked up by the two new franchises, Rising Pune Supergiants and Gujarat Lions, or the older teams in the league.
The Supreme Court also questioned Subramanian Swamy about the reason behind him and not the CSK management choosing not to challenge the ban. In response to this, Swamy claimed that he was unhappy about the fact that Srinivasan had been forcefully removed from the team’s management and also the BCCI and this prompted him to take action.
This decision by India’s premier court of law and also their strict stand on BCCI’s reluctance to comply with the Lodha Committee recommendations send out a clear message that they are bent on cleaning up the mess in Indian cricket.