The Kerala High Court has ordered BCCI to lift the lifetime ban on cricketer Shantakumaran Sreesanth. Sreesanth was hit with a life ban from the sport for his involvement in a match-fixing scandal during the 2013 IPL and subsequently, he even had to spend time in Delhi’s Tihar jail.
The court issued the order after considering a petition filed by the cricketer in March challenging BCCI's decision not to lift the ban despite a Delhi court exonerating him in 2015. The ban was imposed by BCCI on the allegation of spot-fixing in the 2013 edition of the Indian Premier League.
Earlier, Sreesanth had submitted a review petition seeking the life ban on him to be lifted in view of him being exonerated of the match-fixing allegations against him.
In 2013, the BCCI Disciplinary Committee, headed by present Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, had slapped a life ban on Sreesanth. Prior to the ban, Sreesanth had picked up 87 wickets in 27 Test matches, and 75 scalps from 53 ODI’s along with 7 wickets from 10 T20Is. Sreesanth along with two other players were exonerated by the Delhi court in 2015. The case registered by the Delhi Police also invoked the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).
Following the Delhi court's exoneration, Sreesanth approached the Kerala High Court in March this year, with a petition seeking the upliftment of the life ban imposed by the BCCI.
Responding to Sreesanth's petition, BCCI had informed the high court in April that a criminal court exonerating him is not enough to lift the lifetime ban. BCCI's affidavit to the court had stated, "The standard of proof required under a penal statute is much higher than the proof required for a disciplinary inquiry.
Therefore, on the basis of that evidence, one may not be guilty of criminal consequences but can be found guilty of violating the internal disciplinary rules of an organization." It was aware of the sessions court's decision discharging Sreesanth of the charges but a working committee of BCCI that met at a later point of time decided not to lift the ban," the affidavit had stated.