The Kerala High Court has lifted the ban imposed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on cricketer S Sreesanth. The seamer was charged earlier for his involvement in the spot fixing scandal in the Indian Premier League (IPL). He was banned in September 2013 for his alleged spot fixing in the IPL and he was charged alongside two of his Rajasthan Royals teammates, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan. However, he was acquitted in the spot-fixing case in July 2015.
The latest development comes as a relief to the bowler who has been fighting for justice since the acquittal but BCCI continued to hold out and didn’t lift the life ban imposed on him. In a hearing in March, Kerala HC sought BCCI’s stand on the plea filed by Sreesanth which challenged the life ban. The bowler had then filed a petition challenging the BCCI’s decision not to lift the ban despite being exonerated by the Delhi High Court in 2015.
The player had argued that not lifting the ban violated his constitutional rights considering BCCI had taken into account the same charges applied on him by the Delhi Police for which he was later cleared by the Court. In 2013, BCCI had suspended him and ordered an enquiry following his arrest in May 2013. He argued that BCCI’s enquiry team had submitted the report without giving him a due chance of hearing.
But he was given a chance to provide his version in writing later although the supplementary report was filed without taking the written version into due consideration. He was then issued a show cause notice before the ban was imposed on him.
BCCI’s affidavit earlier in the year said, “The standard of proof required under a penal statute is much higher than the proof required for a disciplinary inquiry. Therefore, on an appreciation of the same evidence, one may not be guilty of criminal consequences but can be found guilty for violating the internal disciplinary rules of an organization.”
After the judgement on Monday, S Sreesanth wrote on Twitter, “God is great..thanks for the all the love and support”.