2013 Indian Premier League spot-fixing and betting case
The 2013 Indian Premier League spot-fixing and betting case arose when the Delhi Police arrested three cricketers, Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan, on the charges of alleged spot-fixing. The three represented the Rajasthan Royals in the 2013 Indian Premier League. In a separate case, Mumbai Police arrested Vindu Dara Singh and Chennai Super Kings Team Principal Gurunath Meiyappan for alleged betting and having links with bookies.
In July 2015, Sreesanth, Chandila and Chavan were cleared of all the charges after they were found not guilty by the Patiala House Courts. However, in January 2016, Chandila was given a life ban from all forms of cricket by the BCCI. In March 2019, the Supreme Court lifted the life ban imposed by BCCI on Sreesanth.
Sreesanth was arrested at his friend's house, whereas Chandila and Chavan were arrested from their team hotel in Mumbai. Rajasthan Royals suspended the contracts of the three players until the investigation was complete. Delhi police have claimed that Chavan have confessed being involved in the spot fixing. The police also claimed that Chandila had tried to get other players, including Chavan, involved in the spot fixing under the direction of the bookies.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) suspended the players till further investigation. BCCI secretary Sanjay Jagdale, said, "The BCCI is shocked and saddened at the recent developments. The BCCI has zero tolerance to corruption. We will offer all cooperation to the Delhi police and all other authorities in their investigations in this matter. The IPL Governing Council has met and decided that the cricketers found involved will be dealt with severely." On 4 June 2013, Delhi Police said that Sreeshant, Chandila, Chavan and 23 other people arrested by them in the spot-fixing scandal were going to be charged with the provisions of Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) since they were acting under the command of underworld dons Dawood Ibrahim and Chhota Shakeel.
Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and 17 other people (including 14 alleged bookies) who were arrested by the Delhi Police were released on bail on 10 June 2013 by a Delhi court due to lack of evidence to be charged under MCOCA. Ajit Chandila had not applied for bail. Bombay High Court has sought investigation progree report from Mumbai Crime Branch during the hearing of a public interest litigation filed by social-activist Ketan Tirodkar.
The International Cricket Council withdrew umpire Asad Rauf from the Champions Trophy in the wake of reports that the Mumbai Police were conducting an investigation into Asad Rauf’s activities in the IPL spot fixing scandal.
Arrest of bookiesEdit
Sunil Bhatia, a bookie arrested by Delhi Police, said that he was involved in fixing in Indian Cricket League and Bangladesh Premier League besides the IPL leading to speculations that the entire fixing scandal runs even deeper.
A team of Delhi Police Special Cell officers arrested Yahya Mohammad in the early hours of 24 May 2013 from the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad in connection with the cricket betting.
Ahmedabad Crime Branch arrested bookie Vinod Mulchandani from the Satellite Area of Ahmedabad city on 25 May 2013. 12.8 million INR in cash, laptops and mobile phones were seized from his possession.
Gurunath Meiyappan caseEdit
Call records of Vindu Dara Singh in connection with the betting scandal showed that he was in frequent contact with Chennai Super Kings (CSK) team principal and BCCI president N. Sreenivasan's son-in-law, Gurunath Meiyappan. To investigate whether frequent calls to Meiyappan were for betting, Mumbai Police issued summons to him. On 24 May 2013, Gurunath Meiyappan was arrested on charges of betting, conspiracy and cheating after he was questioned by the Mumbai Crime Branch. After his arrest, the CSK franchise immediately disowned him. In a press statement on 24 May 2013, India Cements, which owns the CSK franchisee said: "Mr. Meiyappan is neither the owner, nor the CEO/Team Principal of the Chennai Super Kings. [He] is only one of the members (Honorary) of the management team of the Chennai Super Kings." The main reason for the immediate disowning of him was that, his arrest could lead to termination of the CSK franchise. This was because of the Clause 11.3 (c) of the Franchise Agreement, which stated
a franchise may be terminated immediately if the Franchisee, any Franchisee Group Company and /or any Owner acts in any way which has a material adverse effect upon the reputation or standing of the League, BCCI-IPL, BCCI, the Franchisee, the Team (or any other team in the League) and/or the game of cricket.
On 26 May, BCCI announced that a three-member commission would investigate the role of Meiyappan in the spot-fixing and betting scandal. On 31 May 2013, a senior Mumbai Police official said that Meiyappanan had been warned by an official from the International Cricket Council’s ACSU. Meiyappan was later released on bail by a Mumbai court, on 3 June 2013.
Raj Kundra caseEdit
On 5 June 2013, Rajasthan Royals team co-owner Raj Kundra was questioned by the Delhi Police for alleged involvement in illegal betting. On 6 June 2013, Delhi Police claimed that he had confessed to them of placing bets on his IPL team through a bookie who was his friend. On 7 June 2013, Rajasthan Royals team management said that Raj Kundra would be suspended and all his shares in the team taken back if the charges against him of betting were proved. Because of this, he was suspended from the IPL by the BCCI on 10 June 2013.
Supreme court observationEdit
On 25 March 2014, the Supreme Court of India told N. Srinivasan to step down from his position on his own as BCCI president in order to ensure a fair investigation into the betting and spot-fixing charges levied against his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan who was team principal of Chennai Super Kings, else it would pass verdict asking him to step down. The Supreme court said it was "nauseating" that N. Srinivasan continued as BCCI chief.
Mukul Mudgal CommitteeEdit
In October 2013, Supreme Court of India appointed a three-member committee headed by Justice (Retd.) Mukul Mudgal to probe allegations of betting and spot fixing in the Indian Premier League (IPL). The committee submitted its report to the Supreme Court in February 2014. The details of the report have not been made public. The other members of the committee are Additional Solicitor General of India L Nageswara Rao and senior advocate and former cricket umpire Nilay Dutta. The former Indian Cricket Captain Sourav Ganguly has also been appointed as a part of the committee and a part of the investigating process of the committee.
Initially Sreesanth's father Shantakumaran Nair termed his son's arrest to be a "larger conspiracy", and blamed cricketers M. S. Dhoni and Harbhajan Singh for connecting his son with the scandal, but later retracted the statement.
There were reports that the Delhi and the Mumbai police were in an unfriendly competition between each other and there was a lack of co-ordination between them. These reports were later dismissed by Maharashtra Home minister R.R. Patil saying that the two teams were co-operating with each other to uncover the truth.
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