SC Issues Notice To BCCI On Sreesanth's Life Ban Challenging Plea

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| February 5 , 2018 , 18:31 IST

The Apex Court of India issued a notice to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Monday pertaining to cricketer S. Sreesanth's life ban challenging plea which was imposed on him by the cricket body. 

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud gave BCCI four weeks to respond in the notice and provided Sreesanth with another four weeks to file his rejoinder to the response by the BCCI. 

On behalf of the BCCI, Senior counsel Parag Tripathi accepted the notice. Sreesanth's senior counsel Salman Khurshid admitted that banning him for life despite being discharged by a trial court of criminal charges over lack of evidence was not justified.

On February 1, the judicial authorities had agreed to an appeal filed by Sreesanth against a Kerala High Court verdict that restored the life ban imposed on him by the BCCI in the wake of the 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal.

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The bench had then directed to list the case for hearing before an appropriate bench according to the roster. "List on February 5, 2018, before an appropriate bench, as per roster, subject to removal of defects, if any," the bench said.

After a single-judge bench's order of lifting the life ban imposed on the 34-year-old pacer,  BCCI's petition prompted a division bench of the High Court to restore the ban. Quashing the previous order, the bench said there was no violation of natural justice against the cricketer.

BCCI had later admitted that the decision to ban the cricketer was based on the evidence against him. The single-judge bench had lifted the life ban imposed on him by the BCCI on August 7 last year while setting aside all proceedings against Sreesanth.

All the 36 accused in the spot-fixing case, including Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila, were let off by a Patiala House court in July 2015. The BCCI, however, had refused to alter its disciplinary decision even after the verdict.

In November 2017, Sreesanth had said that he would approach the Supreme Court in a last-ditch effort to lift the life ban. "I will fight for my right. It is not just about playing for the country, but it is about getting the respect back," he said.