The International Cricket Council has reduced the six-match ban on skipper Sourav Ganguly to four One-Day Internationals.
South African Constitutional Court judge Justice Albie Sachs, who was the sole member of an ICC Disputes Resolution Committee to hear Ganguly's case regarding the process used to deal with his appeal under the ICC Code of Conduct, said on Thursday the then India captain was guilty of charges as laid out under the Code but the verdict by the ICC Match Referee had laid too much stress on the fact that the offence was repeated in a short time.
"In my opinion, when awarding the penalty, too much weight was given to the fact that the offence (second) was within the same week," Sachs told a media teleconference.
"The shortage of overs was not very big, and not deliberate. But there was certainly a lack of energy."
Ganguly was banned for six One-Day Internationals following the team's slow over-rate during the home series against Pakistan in April.
His appeal against the ban was turned down by ICC Appeals Commissioner Michael Beloff. He requested for an oral hearing but Beloff ruled that arguments presented in text were enough to make a judgment.
Ganguly, who has already sat out of two of the four ODI suspension, was provisionally selected in the 16-member Indian team, led by Rahul Dravid, and is now eligible to play in the Sri Lanka tri-series, involving the West Indies and Sri Lanka, after sitting out two matches.
On the specific points raised by the Board of Control of Cricket in India relating to the process by which the matter was dealt with, Justice Sachs reached the following conclusions:
ICC president Ehsan Mani said that he was pleased that issue was now finally resolved.
"Justice Sachs has dealt with all the issues raised by the BCCI in full and highlighted the fact that the process and application of the rules was appropriate," said Mani.
"His decision underlines the central role that captains have in ensuring their teams adhere to the rules that are in place and the Match Referees will continue to apply and police these rules without fear of favour."
"I am pleased that this is now finally resolved and that the ICC and the BCCI are able to move forward and that Ganguly will be able to resume his international career once his suspension is concluded."