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On a day the government announced a new law to deal with “dishonest practices” in sports, the Mumbai Police said Gurunath Meiyappan had passed on team information and strategies of the Chennai Super Kings to bookies.
Meiyappan’s father-in-law and BCCI chief N Srinivasan, however, showed no such signs of cracking under mounting pressure to resign. In the city on Saturday for a briefing with his legal team before flying to Kolkata for Sunday’s final, he said: “I have done nothing wrong… I cannot be bulldozed into resigning.”
In Delhi, law minister Kapil Sibal said a first draft of the stand-alone law would be sent to the sports ministry in three to four days for further consultations. “Cricket is a passion for the people of our country. We cannot let them down.”
The law would be broad-based to cover all kinds of sports and follow the CrPC procedure of prosecution and punishment, but wouldn’t have retrospective effect, he said. “Dishonest practices” would include any gesture or act that can change the course or outcome of a match or tournament. The law would deal with corporates, bookies, criminals and players (foreigners included), the minister said, adding that attorney general GE Vahanvati and the opposition parties were all on board.
Meiyappan, who was arrested close to midnight on Friday, was produced before a magistrate’s court and remanded in police custody till May 29.
Crime branch officers said they had call details of his four phones — some of them allegedly procured through fake documents — that showed he was in constant touch with actor-bookie Vindoo Dara Singh. He called Vindoo to pass on inside information, mostly when matches were underway, and to place bets.
Vindoo then got in touch with bookies such as Jupiter, Pawan Jaipur and Sanjay Jaipur, who in turn placed bets with bookies in Pakistan, according to the crime branch remand application.
Police are trying to find out about Meiyappan’s financial arrangement with Vindoo and his alleged relationship with Pakistani umpire Asad Rauf, fast emerging as another key figure in the scandal.
(with PTI inputs)