हिन्दीಕನ್ನಡമലയാളംதமிழ்తెలుగు

Azhar to challenge ban in Hyderabad court: Lawyer

Published: Thursday, December 28, 2000, 16:30 [IST]
 
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New Delhi: Former Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin, banned for life by the country's cricket board after an investigation accused him of match-fixing, will contest the decision in court, his lawyer said on Thursday. Hans Raj Bhardwaj, a former India law minister, said a case challenging the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) December 5 decision would be filed in the Andhra Pradesh High Court in the southern city of Hyderabad where Azharuddin lives. "My juniors in Hyderabad are preparing the case and should be ready shortly. They could file anytime now," Bhardwaj told Reuters. He said the ban would be challenged on the grounds that the entire investigation into the match-fixing scandal in India had been "without any legal procedure". The federal Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) named five Indian Test cricketers, including Azharuddin, in a damning report last month. All the players denied wrongdoing. Azharuddin made no public statements but suggested in an interview that he had been falsely implicated. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) conducted an internal inquiry into the government report by employing K Madhavan, a former CBI joint director. The BCCI inquiry endorsed the CBI's charge that Azharuddin was involved in match- fixing and said Ajay Sharma, Manoj Prabhakar and Ajay Jadeja had links with bookies but may not have fixed matches. Wicketkeeper Nayan Mongia was exonerated. The BCCI banned Azharuddin and Sharma for life and suspended Prabhakar and Jadeja for five years. "Azharuddin has been made a scapegoat," Bhardwaj said. "The real fixers are big people, who have remained off the cricket field." He added, "Why has the BCCI not been investigated even though it was reprimanded in the CBI report for divulging less than it knew about the whole issue? The whole procedure is just eyewash." Bhardwaj said Azharuddin would have been happy with an independent inquiry by a sitting judge, as in South Africa. Former South African captain Hansie Cronje was banned for life by the country's cricket board after admitting to an inquiry commission to taking money from bookmakers in exchange for information. He denied fixing matches. "Who is Madhavan to make inquiries - just someone appointed by the BCCI? He has no legal standing, for that matter neither does the CBI," Bhardwaj said. He added, "We are going to attack Azharuddin's expulsion from cricket on the lack of principle. We will question the legal credentials of the people who have investigated the whole issue."(c) Reuters Limited. Click here for Restrictions

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