Thatscricket - News - Court issues notices, denies Jadeja stay

Published: Friday, February 9, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday asked the Sports Ministry and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to explain their positions on a writ petition filed by tainted cricketer Ajay Jadeja against the five-year ban on him from playing and a notice on withdrawal of the Arjuna Award.Issuing notices, justice Vijender Jain asked the secretaries at the Ministry of Personnel and the Ministry of Culture, Youth Affairs and Sports to file their replies within a month. Among other respondents in the case are BCCI president and chairman of its disciplinary committee A C Muthiah and hiscolleagues Kamal Murarka and Ram Prasad besides BCCI commissioner K Madhavan. The committee had also imposed life ban on former captain Azharuddin and five-year ban on Manoj Prabhakar and Ajay Sharma. The cricketers are also barred from holding any positions in cricket governing bodies or their affiliates. The matter will now come up for hearing on March 29. The judge also gave Jadeja's counsel R K Anand two weeks after that date to file his rejoinder to the replies. But the court refused to grant a stay against the show cause notice issued to Jadeja by the Ministry of Sports under rule 17 of the Arjuna Award conferment procedure. Jadeja in his petition had asked the court to stay the withdrawal of Arjuna Awards by the government, to which additional solicitor general Kirit Rawal said only show cause notice has been issued to the cricketer and the government has taken no decision regarding the award's withdrawal. Throughout the hearing, Jadeja was present in court. In fact, at one stage he was sitting among reporters and legal correspondents who had descended in large numbers to record the proceedings. Noted constitutional lawyer Kapil Sibal accepted the notices on behalf of the BCCI and other officials. He interjected several times during the hearing of arguments while noted criminal lawyer R K Anand argued for Jadeja. The 762-page petition was read through by the counsel who also cited several judgments to prove that the court did have the right to intervene in this case and protect the right of Jadeja as a cricketer who has been denied his fundamental rights to live with dignity and earn his livelihood through playing cricket. According to a report submitted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on October 31 last year, Jadeja is alleged to have established close contacts with bookies for fixing cricket matches. The CBI, said Mr Anand, without allowing the witnesses to be examined, arbitrarily and illegally evaluated the alleged statements. It has given its own wrong, tainted, baised and twisted versions and analysis. ''The government has without applying its mind and having complete disregard to Jadeja's fundamental rights and principles of natural justice has wrongly, arbitrarily and illegally made the said ex-parte opinion public,'' Mr Anand said before the court.''Mr Madhavan gave his finding on the basis of CBI report, which was not even made officially available to the BCCI as per the Board's own admission. He (Madhvan) had taken the CBI report as gospel truth and no opportunity was given to Jadeja to explain his position,'' Mr Anand contended. ''There is absolutely no evidence with the BCCI for taking the disciplinary action against Jadeja," he said. On January 29, former cricket captain Azharuddin had filed a plaint in the court of chief judge of civil courts in Hyderabad, challenging the life ban on his cricket career by the BCCI. UNI

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