IPL scandal: Kirti Azad for stricter laws

Darbhanga/Vadodara/New Delhi, June 6 (ANI): With Rajasthan Royals' co-owner Raj Kundra admitting to the Delhi Police that he had placed bets on his own team, former cricketer and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Kirti Azad on Thursday said these are very serious matters, and added that stricter laws are needed to stop such activities.

"The Delhi Police has alleged that Mr. Raj Kundra has accepted the fact that he was involved in match fixing and I think it's a very serious matter but unfortunately we have seen in the case of Vindoo who said that I have never fixed any game, I have never spot fixed or match fixed any match or been involved in betting same was said about Guru that he didn't know him so these are very serious matters and need stricter laws on such issues," he said, while talking to the media at his home town in Darbhanga, Bihar.

Former BCCI Secretary Jayant Lele on his part said that he pitied Raj Kundra for committing such silly acts.

"But I am not very happy; whatever is happening is not cricket. A man like Raj Kundra who runs the Rajasthan Royals team he has so much money so where was the need to bet? This is nothing but stupidity on the part of Raj Kundra. You are running a team and in this nonsense your hands are down. I'm sorry I feel pity for him," said Lele in Vadodara.

Rajya Sabha MP Tarlochan Singh commenting on the matter said it was slowly being proved that all that mattered in cricket now was money and nothing else.

"I think, the IPL is getting murkier day by day and today's statement of the Police Commissioner that the owner of the game (team) in Rajasthan, he was himself betting on it, so this is totally wrong. Cricket is the most popular game of India and people love it, but now we are getting it defamed day by day and now it is being proved that except money earning there is nothing else," he said, while talking to the media in New Delhi.

Delhi Police commissioner Neeraj Kumar today said Raj Kundra was called for questioning as the police got to know that he was involved in betting.

"Umesh Goenka was the bookie through whom Raj Kundra placed the bets," he said, and added that Kundra has lost a lot of money on the bets that he made.

Delhi Police has also asked Kundra to surrender his passport and not to leave the country pending further inquiry in the IPL spot-fixing scandal.

Kundra, an NRI businessman based in the United Kingdom, was questioned for almost twelve hours by the police yesterday.

Information on Kundra came to light during the interrogation of his friend Umesh Goenka, a businessman who reportedly used to ask Rajasthan Royal players about strategy, team composition, pitch situation and even things like the possible winner of a match.

Delhi Police recorded Goenka's statement under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) in front of a magistrate. This bars him from retracting his statement.

Kundra is Goenka's partner in his steel ingots manufacturing business called Ashwini Steel Private Limited in Ahmedabad.

Kundra was quizzed mainly on three aspects. He was asked about the capacity in which Goenka interacted with the management on team strategy, asking players other questions, and about the "open parties his team players attended" with the bookies at the team hotel.

Delhi Police also asked Kundra about his team's partnership and investment pattern since he only owns 11.7 percent in the team.

The Rajasthan Royals have four owners, including Kundra's wife and Bollywood actor Shilpa Shetty.

If required, the Special Cell of Delhi Police may summon Shilpa Shetty and other team owners for questioning in the days to come. (ANI)

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