The Supreme Court will hear the appeal filed by cricketer and reality show Bigg Boss participant S Sreesanth, challenging the lifetime ban imposed on him by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Sreesanth recently told the Supreme Court that he has offers to play English County matches and the life ban imposed on him by the board is "too harsh”, reports PTI. Now it is reported that the hearing will take place in the third week of January. S Sreesanth in Bigg Boss 12: Check Profile, Biography, Controversies and Photos of BB12 Celeb Contestant S Sreesanth.
Citing the example of cricketer turned politician Mohammad Azharuddin whose ban was reversed, Sreesanth said why can't his life ban imposed by BCCI can be set aside. Azharuddin was accused for his involvement in the match-fixing scandal of 2000.
Interestingly, in the IPL 2013 spot-fixing scandal, the fast bowler in 2015 was acquitted by a Delhi court. A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and Ajay Rastogi noted that appeal against the 2015 order of the trial court is pending before the Delhi High Court and the hearing is scheduled in the second week of January.
"We will hear the matter in the third week of January," the bench said, while adjourning the matter. Senior advocate Salman Khurshid, appearing for Sreesanth said that the cricketer is now 35 years of age and if the ban is not revoked, he will not be able to play club cricket in the United Kingdom for which he has two-three offers. Bigg Boss 12: Sreesanth’s Wife Bhuvneshwari Writes an Open Letter to BCCI, Alleges Cricket Board of Having Double Standards on IPL 2013 Spot-Fixing Scandal.
He said that at 35 years of age, his international cricket career is virtually over but he should at least be allowed to play club cricket. Khurshid further said that except for Sreesanth, none of the other players who were embroiled in the alleged spot fixing scandal were given life time ban. Senior advocate Parag Tripathi, appearing for BCCI, said that there was incriminating evidence against Sreesanth due to which the apex cricket body imposed ban against him. He said that BCCI has adopted zero tolerance against corruption in the game and the life ban cannot be revoked.
On May 15, the apex court had denied Sreesanth playing for English County but asked Delhi High Court to decide expeditiously an appeal challenging a trial court order discharging several cricketers, including him, in the case. The court had then said that though it understood Sreesanth's "anxiety" to play, it would like to wait for the high court's decision on the appeal of the Delhi Police challenging the trial court order discharging the cricketers and others in the spot-fixing case.
The Delhi Police had arrested Sreesanth, along with cricketers Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan, and others on charges of spot fixing during the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2013. As many as 36 accused in the spot-fixing case, including Sreesanth, Chavan and Chandila, were let-off by a Patiala House court in July, 2015. The Delhi Police had later challenged the decision in the Delhi High Court. Bigg Boss 12: Here's A List Of Every Objectionable Thing Sreesanth Has Said On The Show So Far
The BCCI had however refused to alter its disciplinary decision of life ban even after the verdict. Sreesanth has challenged in the apex court the decision of a division bench of the Kerala High Court restoring the ban imposed on him by the BCCI. The apex court had on February 5 sought response from the BCCI and two members of the committee, which had recommended the life ban on Sreesanth. A single-judge bench of the Kerala High Court had on August 7 last year lifted the life ban imposed on 34-year-old Sreesanth by the BCCI and set aside all proceedings against him initiated by the board. A division bench of the high court had later restored the ban on a petition filed by the BCCI against the single-judge bench's order.
Sreesanth is currently participating in season 12 of Bigg Boss. During one of the episodes, the fast bowler revealed that he considered committing suicide after the IPL 2013 spot-fixing scandal. The former Indian cricketer also said that he was accused of spot-fixing for a sum of Rs 10 lakh. (Inputs PTI).