Gurunath Meiyappan, former team principal of Chennai Super Kings (CSK), actor Vindoo Dara Singh and 20 others were on Saturday charged with forgery, cheating and criminal conspiracy in the T20 betting case, which rocked the cricketing world four months ago.
But charges have been brought against Meiyappan and Vindoo for betting, not spot fixing. The chargesheet, filed by the crime branch in a Mumbai court, also names Pakistani umpire Asad Rauf and 15 alleged bookies from the neighbouring country as wanted accused.
Meiyappan, son in law of N Srinivasan who was forced to step aside as BCCI president after the spot fixing and betting scandal, has also been charged with harbouring an offender and breach of contract.
The BCCI last week slapped life bans on Indian Test pacer S Sreesanth Rajathan Royals and spinner Ankeet Chavan for their involvement in the IPL spot-fixing scam, while handing lesser punishments to Rajasthan Royals cricketers Amit Singh and Siddharth Trivedi.
Vindoo’s name had surfaced during a police probe into an international betting syndicate, involving people from the Mumbai underworld too. Meiyappan was alleged to have given critical information, including those related to the team strategy and composition to Vindoo, who passed the info on to the bookies and placed bets on behalf of the CSK strongman.
The chargesheet said bookie brothers Sanjay and Pawan Jaipur, had sent gifts to Asad Rauf, who officiated in IPL season 6 and left India in a hurry after his name cropped up in the betting racket.
"Rauf was supposed to collect costly shoes and clothes from Delhi, but he didn't take them after being apparently tipped off,” the crime branch said.
Srinivasan was unfazed by the development, distanced himself from Meiyappan, and reiterated he will contest the BCCI presidential election during the September 29 annual general meeting in Chennai.
“If he is chargesheeted, the law will take it own course. It is up to him to defend his position, it has got nothing to do with me,” Srinivasan said.
Mumbai joint commissioner of police Himanshu Roy told reporters that investigations in the case showed that 40 SIM cards were purchased using fake documents. The list of wanted accused also included bookies from the UAE, he said, adding police examined 205 witnesses and seized 150 mobile phones among other equipments.
The chargesheet, according to Crime Branch sources, has enclosed forensic reports containing call data records of various conversations between the bookies, Vindoo, son of late wrestler-turned-actor Dara Singh, and Meiyappan.
The chargesheet said on May 12 at 12.12am, Vindoo called Meiyappan from cell phone 9967949991 during a CSK and Rajasthan Royals match and he placed a huge bet on it.
Again, at 4 pm on May 15 Vindoo spoke to the Jaipur brothers and told them about a match involving Kolkata Knight Riders. Meiyappen, according to the charge sheet, had predicted a KKR win and that happened.
The chargesheet says Vindoo and Rauf spoke at least 80 times over phone between April 12 and May 13.
In one of the recordings, Vindoo and Rauf were heard discussing the delivery of a gold chain by the Jaipur brothers. In another recording between Rauf and one of the Jaipur brothers, the Pakistani umpire was being advised to destroy two SIM cards delivered by one Mahesh Mishra.
The chargesheet said Rauf violated the T20 league code of conduct when at 10pm on May 12 during a match Vindoo accepted a bet on his behalf.
On May 15, before an encounter between Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals, Rauf advised Vindoo to bet heavily on the Mumbai team. "Aaaj zindagi ki haar jeet kar lo (this is the bet of your life)," Rauf told Vindoo. Mumbai Indians indeed won the match.