The betting activities of Chennai Super Kings’ “team official” Gurunath Meiyappan was “proved” 10 months ago in a majority report authored by Justice Mukul Mudgal and Additional Solicitor-General L. Nageswara Rao, who were part of the three-member committee probing the betting and spot-fixing allegations in the Indian Premier League.
But it was the advice of the third member, senior advocate Nilay Dutta, to be wary that made the panel do a double-check on Mr. Meiyappan.
The evidence in question was a telephone conversation allegedly between Mr. Meiyappan, the son-in-law of International Cricket Council president N. Srinivasan, and Vindoo Dara Singh.
The senior advocate, expressing caution, had said the committee ought to first back its findings against Mr. Meiyappan with forensic evidence. The confirmation of the identity of the voice in the conversation should be done on scientific grounds, Mr. Dutta had advised.
These details are part of the final report of the Justice Mudgal Committee, made public on Monday.
In their February 8 report, Justice Mudgal and Mr. Rao concluded that the voice in the recorded telephone conversation was that of Mr. Meiyappan. They had said, “The role of Gurunath Meiyappan in Chennai Super Kings as team official stands proved and the allegations of betting and passing on information against Gurunath Meiyappan stand proved.”
But Mr. Dutta, the very next day, had differed about this conclusion.
In his February 9 report, Mr. Dutta wrote that, “While agreeing with the findings arrived at by the other members of the Committee, it would be necessary to arrive at a conclusive finding as regards the voice alleged to be of Gurunath Meiyappan by appropriate scientific evaluation.”
He added that, “If the voice is identified to be that of Gurunath Meiyappan, there was no doubt that Mr. Meiyappan was indulging in betting for which he is liable to face appropriate sanctions.”
This divergence of opinion among the committee had led to the recorded conversation being sent for voice analysis.
In its final conclusions against Mr. Meiyappan — who is identified as ‘Individual 1’ in the latest report, the committee said their “divergence” about Mr. Meiyappan’s voice had been resolved. They said their reports have “thus become unanimous about the betting activity of the individual.”
“The forensic report further confirms the voice of this individual in the conversation with the person acting as a go-between,” the report said.