Charges against Meiyappan include betting, gambling and conspiracy
In a major embarrassment to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) chief N. Srinivasan, the Mumbai police on Saturday charged his son-in-law and former Chennai Super Kings team principal Gurunath Meiyappan with betting, gambling, cheating and conspiracy in IPL 6. Pakistani umpire Asad Rauf was also named as a wanted accused and faces the same charges as actor Vindu Dara Singh.
The details of the 11,609 page charge sheet filed by the police in a Mumbai court were first reported by The Hindu on September 15.
A combative Mr. Srinivasan, who recently announced his plans to contest another term, told the media: “Why should I step aside? I have not been disqualified.” When asked about Mr. Meiyappan, he said: “Whether he has done something right or wrong, he will have to face it. I will be asking the BCCI secretary to take legal advice if he finds it necessary.”
Reacting to the charges against him, Mr. Singh said: “I am innocent. I have done nothing wrong. Let them say what they want to say.”
The spot-fixing case exploded in May after the Delhi Police arrested cricketer S. Sreesanth. Subsequent investigation in Mumbai led to the arrest of Mr. Singh and Mr. Meiyappan, forcing Mr. Srinivasan to step aside as BCCI president till its probe panel exonerated his son-in-law of spot-fixing. Mr. Singh and Mr. Meiyappan were released on bail in June.
The charge sheet accuses Mr. Meiyappan of placing bets on four matches between May 12 and 15. It has relied on call records to show that he passed on information about several teams, pitch conditions and strategy to Mr. Singh, who in turn passed this on to the bookies. Not only that, Mr. Meiyappan has been accused of making crores — in one occasion though he reportedly lost a crore himself — by betting on matches through Mr. Singh.
According to the charge sheet, on May 12, Mr. Meiyappan told Mr. Singh that Chennai Super Kings would score only 130-140 runs against Rajasthan Royals. That day, CSK scored 141 runs and the tip was a crucial one for bookies to place session bets, Mr. Singh told interrogators. Mr. Meiyappan himself placed a bet in favour of Rajasthan Royals, which ended up winning the match.
The same day, it has been accused, Mr. Meiyappan also shared information about the pitch report in the match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders. He also told Mr. Singh that the Royal Challengers would lose the match, the charge sheet says.
The next day he reportedly told Mr. Singh that Sunrisers Hyderabad would win their match against Mumbai Indians and on May 14, passed on information that the match between CSK and Delhi Daredevils would not take place as the M.A. Chidambaram stadium in Chennai did not have stability certificate.
Later that day, when Mr. Singh found out that Mr. Meiyappan had gone for a boat ride, he admonished him and demanded information, saying: “You are the boss. Go there and find out what those people are thinking. I want to know exactly.” The same day, while discussing who would win the toss in another match, the former CSK official told Mr. Singh that their bets would succeed. In a conversation he told him, “We [will] win hundred per cent.” By evening, he told Mr. Singh that there would be no changes in the team. The charge sheet also lists a witness saying that the BCCI’s Rajiv Shukla sent e-mails to Mr. Meiyappan, warning him not to indulge in betting because he was the owner of a team.
The charge sheet also indicts Rauf, charging him with placing bets on matches through Mr. Singh, even matches which he umpired. In the charge sheet, the police have mentioned records of 80 calls between the two and accused Mr. Rauf of being in touch with several bookies.
In a conversation on May 15, Mr. Rauf tells Mr. Singh, “Aaj zindagi ki haar jeet kar lena,” indicating that he should place massive bets that day, the charge sheet says. On that day, Mumbai Indians were playing Rajasthan Royals, a match that Mr. Rauf was umpiring. The next day, bookie Pawan Jaipur called Mr. Singh and said: “Lafda ho gaya hai, jo sim card maine Rauf ko diya hai, tell him to destroy it [There has been a problem, tell Rauf to destroy the Sim card I gave him].”
Mr. Singh then called Mr. Rauf and told him that the Mumbai police were closing in on him. The Pakistani ﬂed India soon after.
The police have also submitted conversations which show that Mr. Rauf was providing information about match conditions to bookies and placing bets. His voice has been identiﬁed by two witnesses, the charge sheet says. On May 12, he shared information about the Jaipur pitch with Mr. Singh. On that day, he also placed a massive bet on the match between Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings. The transcripts available with the Mumbai police also reveal the amount of bet placed by Mr. Rauf. The same day, he asked Sanjay Jaipur to deliver his “gift,” indicating reward for his tips. Another intercept reveals that he invited Mr. Singh for lunch with bookies Pawan and Sanjay Jaipur.
In one conversation with the bookies, Mr. Singh says, “Whatever we have gifted Asad, we will be able to recover today.”
This suggests the umpire was regularly enticed with gifts. Prem Tarneja, another bookie, has told the police that he bought clothes, shoes and a watch for Mr. Rauf. In one conversation, the bookies, using Mr. Singh’s phone, are heard telling him: “Shaam ko wahi cheez karenge joa aapne batai [In the evening, we will go by what you said].”
The charge sheet lists 22 arrested accused and 24 wanted accused, including 16 Pakistani nationals. There are 205 witnesses. The police have examined 12 voice samples, CCTV footage from four locations, recovered 150 cellphones and 40 sim cards with forged documents.