The Supreme Court of India on Friday, 15th March, revoked the life ban on former Indian cricketer S. Sreesanth in a case of spot-fixing. The apex court asked the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to re-think the punishment it gave to the cricketer before.
The bench who lifted the life ban consisted of Justices Ashok Bhushan and KM Joseph who said that the life ban was ‘too harsh’. The court asked the BCCI disciplinary committee to review the quantum of his punishment in 3 months. The bench however didn’t strike off his indictment for 2013 spot-fixing scandal, meaning it still upholds his guilt.
The bench made it clear that the order of lifting his life ban shall have no effect on criminal proceedings pending against Sreesanth. The standard of disciplinary proceedings was higher than that of criminal proceedings, the court said.
Salman Khurshid, senior advocate for Sreesanth, argued that some cricketers received the life ban previously but it was reconsidered eventually. Khurshid said, “Mohd. Azharuddin [former India captain] was overturned. Pakistan’s Salim Malik got a life ban, but it was overturned. Hansie Cronje was given a life ban but he died in a plane crash when proceedings were not closed.”
Khurshid added to his argument that Sreesanth, despite losing the best part of his career with the ban, remained loyal to BCCI till the end and wanted to ‘reconnect’ with the Board. He said that his client, i.e. Sreesanth suffered ‘continuous torture’ in the hands of the Delhi Police.
“It is a fact that he used a towel. Many players do. There was no criminal intent or foul play. Too much is being read into it. The court had discharged him finally,” Khurshid had argued. Sreesanth himself stood outside the court after the hearing and answered some of the questions from the press.
As per the Anti-Corruption Code of BCCI, the minimum punishment under the charge of corruption is five years’ ban and maximum is life ban. For someone who bets on cricket matches, the minimum punishment is 2 years and maximum is a 5-year ban. Keep reading GutshotMagazine.com for more news like these and general sports/gaming news from around the world.
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