Mumbai Police Charge Chennai Super Kings Owner Gurunath Meiyappan With Match-Fixing
As Mumbai police on Saturday filed a "voluminous 11,069-pages-long chargesheet in the T20 league scam," they said that suspended Chennai Super Kings Owner Gurunath Meiyappan's "act of placing bets" on Indian Premier League 6 matches "amounted to fixing because he was privy to inside information like team constitution and the probable outcome of matches," according to Ahmed Ali & Samervel of the TIMES OF INDIA. The chargesheet, "filed before the 37th Metropolitan Magistrate, named Meiyappan and actor Vindu Dara Singh among the 22 accused." There are an additional 24 "wanted accused, of which 16 are Pakistanis, including umpire Asad Rauf, and two are in Dubai." Police said that "there are around 205 witnesses." The accused have been booked for "cheating, forgery, breach of trust and criminal conspiracy." Investigating officer Nandkumar Gopale said that sections of the Prevention of Gambling Act, "Information Technology (IT) Act and Bombay Police Act have also been slapped." The chargesheet, which comes "just days ahead of the re-election of Meiyappan's father-in-law" Board of Control for Cricket in India President N. Srinivasan, said that Meiyappan "placed bets against his own team, CSK, and leaked information on everything from team composition and the pitch situation to weather conditions." In addition, Meiyappan "spoke over the phone almost daily to Vindu, whose house had become 'a den of betting activities.'" The police said that all the accused involved in the IPL scam "indulged in fixing, considering that through Meiyappan they accessed inside information on matches." The police "unearthed the fixing scam during a routine raid on bookies" (TIMES OF INDIA, 9/22).
SRINIVASAN 'DEFIANT': The PTI reported Srinivasan on Saturday "continued to remain defiant by stating that no one could stop him" from seeking a year's extension in the upcoming Annual General Meeting despite the chargesheet against Meiyappan for betting during the IPL. Srinivasan: "Why should I step aside? I am not disqualified and neither can you push me out. I have always maintained that if Gurunath is wrong then the law will take its own course. You people must realize that I am not disqualified at all." Srinivasan, whose company India Cements owns the Chennai Super Kings, "was forced to step aside as Board President on moral grounds after Meiyappan was arrested for allegedly indulging in betting during the IPL this year" (PTI, 9/21).
CSK'S FUTURE UNCERTAIN: MUMBAI MIRROR's Amit Gupta wrote "so where does this leave Srinivasan, the CSK, the IPL, the BCCI, fans and some of the prominent voices in Indian cricket?" Srinivasan could not "be less bothered." Reality, however, is that "this time these responses will not cut ice." By chargesheeting Meiyappan, the Mumbai Police "has removed the fig-leaf that Srinivasan has been using." How can "the team owner, wash his hands off from his team principal's alleged involvement in something as grave as this?" The first "victim of this should be the CSK." According to the "IPL rule book, CSK should be suspended from the league and the CLT20 since one of its team owners has brought disrepute to the league" (MUMBAI MIRROR, 9/22).
BCCI RESTRAINED: The PTI reported a Delhi court on Sunday restrained the BCCI from holding its Special General Meeting on Wednesday to consider the report of the disciplinary committee on "former IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi for alleged financial irregularities in running of the cricket league" (PTI, 9/21). GULF NEWS' K.R. Nayar reported with less than a week to go for Wednesday's annual general meeting of the BCCI, the "whole board sank into a murky state." Many BCCI members "are finding it hard to stomach the shame that has befallen the board" (GULF NEWS, 9/22).