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After verdict, RR co-owner Raj Kundra pleads innocence

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New Delhi: Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra on Wednesday pleaded his innocence and said that he has been held guilty despite not having evidence against him, following the Supreme Court-appointed Justice Lodha Committee verdict which suspended him for life from taking part in any form cricketing activity.

The Lodha panel, in a landmark decision here on Tuesday, suspended Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Royals from the Indian Premier League (IPL) for two years in the spot fixing and betting scandal that rocked the cash-rich Twenty20 tournament in 2013.

Former CSK team official Gurunath Meiyappan, who is the son-in-law of International Cricket Council (ICC) Chairman N. Srinivasan, and Royals co-owner Kundra, both of whom were earlier found guilty of betting, were suspended for life from any cricketing activity undertaken by the BCCI. “Today is a very depressing and sad day for me as my integrity has been questioned and my support in this investigation seems to have backfired. I have always assisted and helped the Mudgal committee from Day 1 till now. It’s disheartening that despite there being no evidence whatsoever against me, I was still deemed to be guilty,” Kundra said in a statement. “I have not received till date a copy of their final report in which sweeping conclusions were recorded against me. Even the fact that neither the Delhi police nor Rajasthan police found any actionable case against me (for the obvious reasons that there was no evidence or material against me) has been used to make insinuations regarding my guilt for an act I never did.”  

The Justice Mudgal Committee was a four member panel, headed by former High Court judge Mukul Mudgal, which was appointed by the apex court to conduct an independent inquiry into the 2013 IPL spot fixing and betting scandal.

“While I have great respect for the Hon’ble Supreme Court and the judicial system, unfortunately in this case I cannot but feel that I have been wronged. I would request that they share the evidence that they have against me so that I can at least have knowledge of the basis on which they have destroyed my hard-earned reputation,” said Kundra.

raj kundra

“I have anyway washed my hands of cricket in India. I also find it very unfair that the full team, the other owners, the management team, the players and the fans of Rajasthan Royals have been so harshly treated due to the alleged actions of one. However, I am just a minority stakeholder of 11.7 per cent.”

The Lodha and Mudgal committees held Kundra guilty for betting and also not reporting while being in touch with a bookie.

Earlier Kundra had also tweeted regarding the same.

“Many inaccuracies…Have requested for a copy of the judgement- obviously very shocked and disappointed… #Faith. I stated in front of the Lodha Panel loud & clear ‘NOT GUILTY’ #IPLVerdict I request RTI & any ‘evidence’ against my betting be made public!” tweeted Kundra.

“The #LodhaPanel had 2 decide quantum of punishment and not to decide guilty or not as that was done by #Mudgal committee #FlawedReport. Is it too much to request RTI to see the ‘Evidence’ that the #Mudgal committee has against me. I would like it made public for all to see.”

(IANS)

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Britain To Ban Sale Of Plastic Straws In Bid To Fight Waste

Britain planning to ban the sale of Plastic products

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An alternative for plastic straws.
Stainless steel straws are displayed at the cooperative Sin Plastico (Without Plastic), which offers environmentally friendly household items free from plastic materials and packaging, in Bilbao, Spain, April 6, 2018. Britain plans to ban the sale of plastic straws and other single-use items. VOA

Britain plans to ban the sale of plastic straws and other single-use products and is pressing Commonwealth allies to also take action to tackle marine waste, the office of Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May said.

It said drink stirrers and cotton buds would also be banned under the plans.

May has pledged to eradicate avoidable plastic waste by 2042 as part of a “national plan of action.”

“Plastic waste is one of the greatest environmental challenges facing the world, which is why protecting the marine environment is central to our agenda at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting,” May said in a statement ahead of a Commonwealth summit Thursday.

A woman drinking from plastic straw
A woman drinks from a paper cup through a plastic straw on Westminster

Leaders from the Commonwealth — a network of 53 countries, mostly former British colonies — are meeting in London this week.

May is looking to deepen ties to the Commonwealth as Britain seeks to boost trade and carve out a new role in the world ahead of the country’s departure from the European Union in March next year.

Britain will commit 61.4 million pounds ($87.21 million) at the summit to develop new ways of tackling plastic waste and help Commonwealth countries limit how much plastic ends up in the ocean.

“We are rallying Commonwealth countries to join us in the fight against marine plastic,” May said.

Also Read: Plastic-Eating Enzyme Accidentally Developed By Scientists

“Together we can effect real change so that future generations can enjoy a natural environment that is healthier than we currently find it.”

The statement said environment minister Michael Gove would launch a consultation later this year into the plan to ban the plastic items. It gave no details who the consultation would be with.  VOA