With the pressure on them building, India Cements, the owners of Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League, has distanced itself from Gurunath Meiyappan, the son-in-law of N Srinivasan who has been summoned by the Mumbai Police's Crime Branch for questioning in connection with the spot-fixing investigation.
"India Cements clarifies that Mr Gurunath Meiyappan is neither the Owner, nor CEO/Team Principal of Chennai Super Kings," said an India Cements statement. "Mr Gurunath is only one of the Members (Honorary) of the Management Team of Chennai Super Kings.
"India Cements follows zero-tolerance policy and if anyone is proved guilty, strict action will be taken immediately. India Cements assures full cooperation with BCCI and the law enforcement authorities."
Question marks are bound to be raised about the India Cements stance seeing that Gurunath has used a 'Team Owner' accreditation card to access facilities at Indian Premier League venues across the country over the years. Gurunath's Twitter account also described him as 'Team Principal, Chennai Super Kings, Managing Director, AVM Productions and Entertainment, AVM Studios, AVM Constructions'. This was changed to 'Managing Director, AVM Productions and Entertainment, AVM Studios, AVM Constructions' around 5.30pm on Friday soon after India Cements released their statement.
[see pics of Gurunath's IPL accreditation card from 2008 and his Twitter bio prior to the change]
Gurunath, meanwhile, is expected to meet Mumbai Police Crime Branch officials in a short while from now; the police affixed the summons to the door of Gurunath's home in Chennai on Thursday (May 23), and a manager at the Super Kings' office in Chennai also accepted the summons on Gurunath's behalf.
The police have maintained that Gurunath is neither an accused nor a suspect in the ongoing investigation, but they wanted to question him about his reported proximity with Vindoo Dara Singh, the actor who was arrested on Tuesday for his alleged links with bookies.
Himanshu Roy, the Joint Commissioner (Crime) of Mumbai Police, confirmed that Meiyappan was summoned to appear before the Crime Branch office in Mumbai between 11am and 5pm on Friday.
Elsewhere, Neeraj Kumar, the Delhi Police Commissioner, has said that three more players from an IPL team other than Rajasthan Royals were under the scanner too. "We are investigating the role of another team and three more players. However, I cannot disclose the names as we are in the process of gathering evidence. We are investigating and the chain of bookies and number of people involved in betting is a long chain. It is extremely difficult to ascertain this. We will try to chargesheet the accused in 60 days so that they are not released on bail."
Meanwhile, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), sent Ratnakar Shetty, their Chief Administrative Officer, and Sunder Raman, CEO of the IPL, to meet Roy on Thursday night. After the meeting, Shetty said, "We had sought an appointment with Himanshu Roy to hand over a letter from the BCCI as the Supreme Court has said that the BCCI must complete its enquiry within 15 days. We have requested the Mumbai Police to help in our enquiry. At the same time, we also promised to help in their investigations."
Rajiv Shukla, the IPL chairman, meanwhile said that the police should be allowed to complete their investigations before any course of action on the part of the BCCI or the IPL was decided upon. "The Mumbai and Delhi Police are competent authorities," said Shukla. "Let them finish the investigations before jumping to any conclusions."