Meiyappan faces heat | Rauf placed bets | How Vindoo extracted information
The most successful Indian Premier League team is now teetering on the brink of extinction.
Gurunath Meiyappan, the man who used to call himself the ‘team principal’ of the Chennai Super Kings, and was later downgraded to a ‘member of the management team’ by the owners, India Cements, has been charge sheeted by the Mumbai crime branch in connection with the IPL fixing scandal, as MAIL TODAY had reported on September 17.
With this, the very existence of the team has been put in doubt, since according to clause 11.3 in the IPL franchise agreement, the BCCI-IPL may terminate it with immediate effect by written notice if “the franchisee, any franchisee group company and/ or the owner acts in any way which has a material adverse effect upon the reputation or standing of the league, BCCI-IPL, BCCI, the franchisee, the team or any other team in the league and/ or the game of cricket”. This development casts a shadow over the position of BCCI president N. Srinivasan, Meiyappan’s father-in-law and India Cements managing director, as he seeks re- election on September 29.
Meiyappan has been named in an 11,609-page charge sheet filed by the crime branch at the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate court. Others named include Vindoo Randhawa alias Vindoo Dara Singh, a small-time actor and son of legendary actor and wrestler Dara Singh, and former international umpire Asad Rauf from Pakistan, who is referred to as a ‘wanted accused’ since he left the country before he could be caught.
Also See: The IPL Spot-Fixing Timeline
Fifteen bookies from Pakistan have also been named as ‘wanted accused’ in the case.
Joint Commissioner of Police Himanshu Roy said: “The case against Gurunath is of compromising the confidential information related to his team and using it for betting. He was in constant touch with Vindoo. There are various instances where he has given information about team strategy and composition,” said Roy.
Hotelier Vikram Agrawal alias Victor, whose involvement was also being probed in the racket, has been made a witness in the case.
Meiyappan has been charged under a host of sections ranging from the IT to the Gambling and Forgery acts. While the charge-sheet has accused Meiyappan and Vindoo of betting, there are enough hints that the duo, along with Rauf, could have been involved in something as serious as match-fixing.
For instance, in one of the conversations on May 12, Meiyappan told Vindoo the Super Kings would make 130-140 runs against Rajasthan Royals and placed a bet against his own team through Vindoo. Crime branch officials wondered how it was possible that Meiyappan knew this before the match, especially when the team ended up making 141.
In fact, the match-fixing suspicion becomes stronger especially as one reads the transcript of Rauf’s chats with Vindoo.
On May 15, at 1.29pm, Rauf calls up Vindoo and tells him: “Aaj zindagi ki haar-jeet kar lo Mumbai par (Bet your life savings on Mumbai Indians today).” Upon hearing this, Vindoo calls up bookie Pawan Jaipur and tells him: “Dada [Rauf] ko jo bhi gifts diye hain, aaj vasool ho jaayenge (Whatever gifts we gave to Dada will be recovered today).” A crime branch officer said they have not been able to investigate the match-fixing angle as they haven’t been able to question the main people involved in the scam.
Rauf fled to Pakistan as soon as he came to know of Vindoo’s arrest and the two main bookies, Pawan and Sanjay Jaipur, are out on bail.
However, sources said police are scrutinising the match in which Rauf asked Vindoo to bet strongly on the Mumbai Indians to see whether he gave any dubious decisions.
In fact, they suspect that one of the run out decisions given by Rauf was doubtful.
This was the match against Rajasthan Royals which Mumbai won by 14 runs, whereafter the Delhi Police arrested three Rajasthan players for spot fixing.
Police say Rauf also bet, and that too on the matches that he was officiating in. In the charge sheet, police have attached statements of high-end departmental stores where Rauf shopped, while the dues were settled by Pawan.
The Mumbai Police has now started the process for issuing a Letter Rogatory, a request by a court to another court in a foreign country seeking judicial assistance.
Reproduced from Mail Today. Copyright 2013. MTNPL. All rights reserved.
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