Supreme Court revokes life ban on Sreesanth

Former cricketer Sreesanth addressing the media after the Supreme Court set aside his life ban.   | Photo Credit: R V Moorthy

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Bench makes it clear that the order shall have no effect on the criminal proceedings pending against the former cricketer.

The Supreme Court on Friday revoked the life ban on former Indian cricketer S. Sreesanth in a case of spot-fixing and asked the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to re-examine its quantum of punishment.A Bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and K.M. Joseph said the life ban was “too harsh.”The court asked the BCCI disciplinary committee to review the quantum of his punishment in three months. It, however, upheld his indictment in the wake of the 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal.The Bench made it clear that the order shall have no effect on the criminal proceedings pending against the former cricketer. The standard of disciplinary proceedings was higher than that of criminal proceedings, the court said.Cites other casesSreesanth had argued how the life ban given to other cricketers was reconsidered eventually.“Mohd. Azharuddin [former India captain] was overturned. Pakistan’s Salim Malik got a life ban but it was overturned. Hansie Cronje was given a life ban but he died in a plane crash when proceedings were not closed,” senior advocate Salman Khurshid, for Sreesanth, had submitted.Mr. Khurshid had argued that despite the ban and losing the best part of his career, Sreesanth had remained loyal to the BCCI and wanted to “reconnect” with the Board.The lawyer had said his client suffered “continuous torture” in the hands of the Delhi Police.“It is a fact that he used a towel. Many players do. There was no criminal intent or foul play. Too much is being read into it. The court had discharged him finally,” Mr. Khurshid had argued.