at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
New Delhi – The Supreme Court ordered a tough new investigation into spot-fixing allegations in the Indian Premier League, giving the probe panel additional powers and police assistance.
The top court set up a group of investigators, headed by senior police official B.B. Mishra, to assist its own three-member panel appointed last year to probe wrongdoing in the popular Twenty20 competition.
The panel, led by former judge Mukul Mudgal, has been asked to complete the investigations and submit its report to the court by the end of August, the Press Trust of India reported.
The panel “will have all the powers to probe, search and seize relevant documents and record evidence, except the power to arrest”, the news agency quoted the order from the judge as saying.
The Mudgal panel, which produced a damning preliminary report in February, had previously handed the court a sealed envelope that contained the names of 13 individuals who it felt needed further investigation.
The court revealed last month that Indian cricket boss N. Srinivasan was on the list, but declined to name the others pending a full probe, which the panel will now conduct.
The preliminary report concluded that Srinivasan's son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan Ä who was the team principal of the Chennai Super Kings Äcould be guilty of illegal betting on IPL games.
The Super Kings are owned by India Cements, whose managing director is Srinivasan. The team is captained by India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
The court stood Srinivasan aside as president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in March, and handed the responsibility to batting great Sunil Gavaskar and vice-president Shivlal Yadav.
Gavaskar, who is looking after the ongoing seventh edition of the IPL, and Yadav, in charge of the BCCI's other matters, were on Friday asked by the court to continue until further notice.
The court also wanted an ex-player, to be chosen by the panel, to join the investigations.
Srinivasan, regarded as one of the most powerful figures in the sport, is due to hold the newly-created post of chairman of the International Cricket Council in July.
Meiyappan and several cricketers and bookmakers have also been the target of a separate police investigation, which has resulted in charges including forgery, cheating and criminal conspiracy.
International news organisations, including Agence France-Presse (AFP), have suspended their on-field coverage of matches hosted by the BCCI since 2012 after the board imposed restrictions on picture agencies. – Sapa-AFP