India Cements Limited (ICL) has told the Supreme Court that Gurunath Meiyappan was betting on IPL matches from 'home'. Justices TS Thakur and FM Kalifullah, however, refused to buy this 'technical' argument.
Meiyappan, son-in-law of sidelined BCCI president N Srinivasan, was team principal of ICL-owned CSK until he was arrested by Mumbai Police last year and charged with illegal betting on IPL matches.
"I like to admit two things. First, I admit that Meiyappan was a CSK official. Second, he was involved in betting, as per the Justice Mudgal committee report. But he has no place to sit in the India Cements office. He was betting from home. If he was betting from the stadium, then we could have punished him according to franchise agreement and anti-corruption rules," ICL lawyer, Mahesh Jethmalani told the court on Wednesday.
"How does it matter whether he was betting from home or elsewhere? You are liable for punishment if your official is involved in betting, technically speaking," said Justice Thakur.
Jethmalani said: "Meiyappan is like any other ordinary employee of ICL. ICL has 3000 employees. If a few of them are betting at home, how am I answerable? ICL can't be penalised for that."
Justice Thakur said: "You must understand, your relationship with Meiyappan is different from other employees. You should have ensured that you are not surrounded by such people." Jethmalani replied: "Meiyappan has no such history. This is his first instance."
Meiyappan's counsel, senior advocate Sidharth Luthra, said he would refrain from taking a position at the moment as a criminal case is pending against him.