Chennai Super Kings' Gurunath Meiyappan, the son-in-law of BCCI president-in-exile N. Srinivasan, has been charged for betting and cheating during the IPL by the Mumbai police. Pakistani umpire Asad Rauf has also been named as a wanted accused in the chargesheet along with actor Vindoo Dara Singh and 15 bookies from Pakistan. The hearing has been scheduled for November 21.
In the 11,609-page chargesheet filed today by the crime branch in the court of additional chief metropolitan magistrate Uday Padwad, Meiyappan has been accused of betting, cheating, forgery and leaking information. He has been charged under section 66A of the Information Technology Act, sections 4 and 5 of the Gambling Act. He has also been charged under sections 465 (forgery), 466 (forgery of record of court or of public register), 468 (forgery for cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document), 490 (breach of contract), 420 (cheating), 212 (harbouring the offender), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.
A total of 22 people have been named as accused and 8 of them have been declared wanted accused. The police have 196 witnesses as part of their evidence and six forensic lab reports that contain telephone conversations between the likes of Meiyappan, Vindoo and several others. (Rauf claims innocence)
According to sources, Gurunath may be charged for fixing as well based on the following points in the chargesheet:
# On 12th May in a match between CSK and RR, Gurunath bet 'against' his own team. In this match CSK lost. Gurunath was aware that his team would lose. (Whether Gurunath has asked his team to lose on purpose or he knew of the adverse conditions under which his team was playing and hence guessed that his team would lose is a matter that will be raised).
# On 19th May in a conversation between Gurunath and Vindoo at 19:26 hrs, Gurunath told Vindoo - ' we are going to win hundred percent'. CSK won that match.
# On 12th May in a conversation between Guru and Vindoo, Guru tells Vindoo that his team will make runs anywhere between 130 and 140. That days CSK made exactly 141 runs. The match was between CSK and RR.
# On 13th May at 14:45 hrs Vindoo called Guru asking what was he doing ? Guru replied that he was sitting in his boat and watching the match. Vindoo says - why are you sitting in your boat, go sit with your team and pass on information to me, so that I can place bets.
Police had earlier said that they have incriminating proof against Meiyappan, including transcripts of (phone) call records, CCTV footage and documents used to obtain SIM cards for bookmakers.
Meiyappan was arrested on May 25 after a three-hour grilling by the crime branch. The former honcho of CSK, twice IPL champions, was in the eye of a huge storm after actor and TV reality show winner Vindoo admitted to having placed bets on his behalf. Both Meiyappan and Vindoo were granted bail on June 3.
BCCI chief N Srinivasan distanced himself from his son-in-law by stating that he had nothing to do with the chargesheet and that the law would take its own course.
"This is a matter for Mr Gurunath Meiyappan to deal with, the law will take it own course. He has been suspended so he has got nothing to do with the game," Srinivasan was quoted as saying.
"It is upto him to defend his position, it has got nothing to do with me and it is not proper for me to make any comment," he added.
Meanwhile actor Vindoo Dara Singh pleaded his innocence by saying, "Let us read the chargesheet first, we have not done anything wrong."
The IPL spot-fixing controversy arose in May with the arrest of Rajasthan Royals players Shantakumaran Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan by the Delhi Police for conceding more than a specified number of runs per over in return for money from illegal bookmakers. Sreesanth and Chavan are now facing life bans from BCCI.
The BCCI also handed out a five-year ban to Royals' Amit Singh, while another Rajasthan cricketer Siddharth Trivedi got a one-year suspension. There was no decision on Chandila, who recently got out on bail. His role is still being probed, and a decision will be taken soon.
(with PTI inputs)