SC lifts ban on cricketer Sreesanth, directs BCCI to reconsider punishment
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday set aside the lifetime ban imposed on Indian cricketer S. Sreesanth and directed the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to take a fresh decision on his punishment.
The BCCI had banned Sreesanth for life after he was arrested by Delhi Police along with Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan on charges of spot-fixing during the 2013 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
The SC bench, headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan, pronounced the order on Friday (March 15) over a plea filed by Sreesanth.
In a relief for the pace bowler, the apex court has directed BCCI to reconsider the punishment within a three-month period. The 35-year-old cricketer will get an opportunity to be heard by BCCI’s disciplinary committee on the quantum of the punishment, the court further ruled. The top court though maintained that he is guilty of betting/match-fixing.
The Court also clarified that its order shall have no effect on criminal proceedings pending against S Sreesanth.
Representing Sreesanth, senior advocate Salman Khurshid had argued that if a life ban on cricketer-turned-politician Mohammad Azharuddin, who was accused for his involvement in match fixing scandal in 2000, can be reversed then why can’t the same be done for Sreesanth.
The cricketer had pleaded in the court that his international cricket career was virtually over but he should at least be allowed to play club cricket.
BCCI, on its part, had contended it has adopted a zero tolerance policy against corruption in the sport and the life ban cannot be revoked.
It is to be mentioned that thirty-six people, including Sreesanth, were accused in the spot-fixing case and were discharged by a Patiala House court in July, 2015. The Delhi Police had subsequently challenged the decision in Delhi High Court.
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