The Supreme Court of India on 15 March 2019 set aside the life ban imposed by the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) on cricketer S Sreesanth for indulging in spot-fixing during 2013 Indian Premier League.
The judgment was delivered by a two-judge bench, comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and KM Joseph. The bench, while partly allowing Sreesanth’s appeal to lift the ban, directed the disciplinary committee of the BCCI to take a decision on his quantum of punishment within the next 3 months.
1. The top court held that the BCCI has followed its procedure laid down in its anti-corruption code and Sreesanth cannot claim the violation of natural justice.
2. Despite upholding the findings by the disciplinary committee of the BCCI against former India cricketer S Sreesanth, the Supreme Court held that the quantum of punishment needs to be reviewed.
3. Hence, the court set aside the punishment part of the BCCI decision and ordered the disciplinary committee to take a fresh decision on Sreesanth’s quantum of punishment.
4. The decision with regard to the same has to be taken within three months.
5. However, as regards imposition of the life ban, the court stated that the disciplinary committee did not consider mitigating circumstances.
The cricketer contended that the life ban on him was completely unfair and that the Delhi Police continuously had tortured him in custody to extract a confession of his involvement in the 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal.
Sreesanth, who was arrested and later discharged by a trial court in July 2015 in a criminal case related to the alleged spot-fixing, claimed he had to confess his involvement in the alleged crime as police tortured him in custody and threatened to implicate his family in the case.