The Supreme Court-appointed Lodha Committee today gave a clean chit to former IPL COO Sundar Raman in connection with the 2013 spot-fixing and betting scandal, citing lack of evidence against him.
"There was not enough evidence against Sundar Raman and no knowledge of him knowing Vindoo (Dara Singh)," said Justice R M Lodha while reading out parts of the report he submitted to the Supreme Court today.
When contacted, Raman chose not to comment on Lodha panel's recommendations.
"I have not yet the read report so I would not want to comment on it. I have heard that I have been given a clean chit and I appreciate it but there is nothing more I want to add," Raman, who resigned from his post in November, told PTI.
Earlier, the Justice Mukul Mudgal-led panel, which was formed to investigate the IPL spot-fixing scandal, had named Raman as Individual 12 in its report, which said he "knew a contact of a bookie and had contacted him eight times in one season".
His alleged involvement in the spot-fixing scandal had BCCI president Shashank Manohar saying that "Raman should have gone immediately after the Mudgal Committee report found him prima facie guilty of wrongdoings".
"He ought to have stepped down immediately at that time. Now, to restore the faith of people in IPL and the game, Raman needs to go," Manohar had said in July.
Regarding the allegation that Raman had contact and nexus with Bollywood actor Nupur Mehta, the committee said although they contacted each other by calls and messages on 11 occasions, the conversations "do indicate proximity between them but nothing beyond it".
"There is no evidence on record to indicate that Sundar Raman had knowledge about the suspicious activities of Nupur Mehta at the relevant time.
"Although having regard to the position Raman was holding in the IPL, he ought to have shown better discretion in keeping in touch with an unknown person but having said that we find that there is nothing on record other than few calls of a very short duration to indicate that Raman had knowledge of the suspicious activities of Mehta at the relevant time.
"In the absence of any firm evidence, it cannot reasonably be inferred that exchanges between them was for betting or any other corrupt motive. On the basis of evidence collected during investigation it is difficult to conclude that Raman was also involved in the suspicious activities of Mehta," it said.
Earlier, the Justice Mukul Mudgal-led panel, which was formed to investigate the IPL spot-fixing scandal, had named Raman as 'Individual 12' in its report, which said he "knew a contact of a bookie and had contacted him eight times in one season".
In January last year, the Supreme Court in its verdict had said that the allegations levelled against Raman, cannot go "un-probed" and constituted a three-member committee headed by Justice Lodha to further investigate the averments against him, saying "truth must be brought to light".
It had said if the committee finds him guilty it would also decide on the suitable punishment against him.
The apex court had said Raman was the spirit behind the entire exercise of IPL and cannot be said to be unconcerned with the matters relating to the tournament, especially if it has the potential of bringing disrepute to the game or BCCI.