Despite the Delhi Court dropping criminal charges against the former Rajasthan Royals trio (Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan), the BCCI will not be allowing them to play professional cricket, reports ESPNcricinfo.
A BCCI anti-corruption official spoke to the website and made it clear that the standards of proof were different from what the court had needed to charge them. "There is a difference between what the police does and what we do - it is as different as a departmental enquiry and a judicial criminal trial. There is no law with regards to match-fixing in the Indian Penal Code or any of the local laws," he said.
The court found insufficient evidence under the MCOCA act which is a special law passed by the Maharashtra government. But the board conducted an independent enquiry in 2013 which was handled by Ravi Sawani, the former head of ICC's anti-corruption unit and they focussed on the conduct of the players in general and not their alleged connections to the underworld.
"Within that limited requirement of proving whether these players were in touch with the bookies, whether they had done any particular act which amounted to spot-fixing, there was sufficient evidence available to prove the offence of match-fixing or spot fixing," the official told ESPNcricinfo.
The Board’s enquiry panel focussed on the transactions and conversations that took place between the players and the bookies. "Under the anti-corruption code even if an act has not been done, but if you had agreed to do an act, that by itself was an offence. Even if you had agreed and done nothing - that is an offence. Even if you did not receive the money, that is an offence. And even if you have not agreed but somebody had made an approach to you and not reporting that is an offence," the official was quoted as saying by the website.
And the three players had breached Article 2.1.1 of BCCI's anti-corruption code which reads "Fixing or contriving in any way or otherwise influencing improperly, or being a party to any effort to fix or contrive in any way or otherwise influence improperly, the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of any Match or Event."
The official revealed to the website that Sawani had used the evidence gathered by the Dehli police which was conclusive enough to charge the players and also had acquired signed statements from them. "The audio recording that Delhi Police had done between players to certain other people and certain other people further to bookies, all those audio recordings and the transcripts were there. When these players were interviewed, they have signed statements."
Sawani submitted a final report to the Board in September 2013 and in it he had stated that all three were found guilty of match-fixing, seeking or offering a bribe as a reward for match-fixing, underperforming for a reward, ensuring the occurrence of an event during a match, knowing it is the subject of a bet, receiving payment or gift for the possibility of bringing cricket into disrepute, failing to report an approach by bookmakers to fix a match to the BCCI anti-corruption unit.
As a result of this, the BCCI disciplinary panel imposed life bans on Sreesanth and Chavan, but not on Chandila since he has not appeared before the panel yet due to some personal reasons.Published 27 Jul 2015, 10:16 IST