Mumbai: The Mumbai crime branch on Saturday changed their case in the T20 spot-fixing scandal from betting to provisions that can deal with fixing as well. The police invoked section 130 of the Bombay Police Act (using unfair means while betting) against cricket Board president, N Srinivasan’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan and his alleged link to bookies, Vindoo Dara Singh.
Using the act, the police have invoked the section related to cheating in the case. Sources said since there is no law against fixing, this section has been used.
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Several witnesses have recorded statements with the crime branch saying they bought tickets but since bets were placed they felt cheated.
Sources said Meiyappan, principal of Chennai Super Kings (CSK), compromised team information and used it to place bets through Vindoo. Meiyappan was arrested on May 25 by the crime branch.
Himanshu Roy, joint commissioner of police (Crime), said they were still probing the fixing angle and so far no players were seen to be involved. Phone conversations between Meiyappan and Vindoo is the biggest evidence that Meiyappan tried to fix the outcome of several matches. On May 12, Meiyappan made a call to Vindoo when CSK was playing Rajasthan Royals (RR) at Jaipur and allegedly told him to place bets against his team.
He also allegedly told Vindoo that CSK would make 130 to 140 runs.
This information was passed by Vindoo to bookies. Vindoo, however, placed bets for himself and Meiyappan on RR and ended up losing the money. Sources said CSK lost the match by four runs.
On May 14, Meiyappan called Vindoo while CSK were playing against Delhi Daredevils and informed him that CSK would be winning the match.
Officials said Meiyappan leaked the batting order and team composition to Vindoo in the many calls he made during the T20 season. The official also said though there is no proof the matches were fixed, there are references of a particular over or a session being fixed and information passed on by Meiyappan helped the bookies in deciding their bets.
However, police sources said that Meiyappan did not pay or receive any money as all betting accounts were settled after the cricket season.
The result of his voice test, which is still awaited, would be crucial in the crime branch case.