Betting case: Meiyappan sent to police custody till May 29

The hearing started around 2 pm and lasted close to an hour following which Meiyappan was remanded to police custody till May 29. He has been charged under 465, 466, 468, 471, 419, 420, 120b of IPC 4 and 5 of the Gambling Act and 66a of IT Act. Poll: Can IPL redeem itself after the spot-fixing scandal? | Meiyappan spotted in CSK jersey at court

india Updated: May 25, 2013 21:20 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Spot fixing case,Gurunath Meiyappan,BCCI chief N Srinivasan

Gurunath Meiyappan, son-in-law of BCCI chief, was produced before the magistrate's court at 1 pm on Saturday.

The hearing started around 2 pm and lasted close to an hour following which Meiyappan was remanded to police custody till May 29.

Meiyappan who has been charged under 465, 466, 468, 471, 419, 420, 120b of IPC 4 and 5 of the Gambling Act and 66a of IT Act has also been accused of passing team information to bookies.

He was brought in a white Scorpio of the Mumbai Crime Branch to the court premises and was kept away from media persons, whose entry to the court and commissioner's office was restricted on Saturday.

Meiyappan, who was dressed in the navy blue Chennai Super Kings jersey, jeans and a pair of floaters, looked unperturbed and was curious as he kept looking at the court proceedings of other persons.

He chatted around with other people and wore a smile on his face as he awaited his turn in the court.

The Mumbai Crime Branch on Saturday said that they have got call details of 4 phones of Meiyappan. The call details reveal that he used to place bets with the help of wanted bookie Jupiter and arrested actor and bookie Virendra Dara Singh Randhawa alias Vindoo.

Meiyappan used to stay in touch with the bookies from these phones which allegedly were procured through fake documents, said crime branch officials.

Crime branch said they want to seize Meiyappan's phones. Meiyappan used these phones to pass on team planning and strategies to Vindoo, said crime branch officials.

The police claim Meiyappan made calls to Vindoo when matches were underway, and Vindoo then called bookies with the information.

The crime branch is still investigating the financial arrangement between Meiyappan and Vindoo.

They claimed that the Vindoo's calls were intercepted with sanction and they need to match the calls with Meiyappan's voice sample.

The crime branch also wants to investigate Meiyappan's relationship with Pakistani umpire Asad Rauf, who was dropped by the ICC from the Champions Trophy after allegations of match fixing cropped up against him.

Meiyappan was placed under arrest at 11.55pm on Friday night, after the Mumbai crime branch questioned him for close to three hours.

Crime branch sources said, Meiyappan was questioned through the night and was also confronted with Vindoo following which he accepted his role in cricket betting.

Meiyappan used to place bets through the book ‘Jack’ that Vindoo operated, said crime branch sources.

A model who is being questioned has claimed that Meiyappan had told her during a phone conversation about how 'tense he was after losing Rs 10 lakh that he had placed as a bet on CSK.

Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Himanshu Roy said early Saturday that Meiyappan, who was arrested around midnight, would be produced before a court within 24 hours.

Roy initially quizzed Meiyappan for about two-and-a half hours. After his arrest, the 35-year-old was again subjected to questioning for several hours by Crime Branch team, police officials said.

"He was not as cooperative as we expected him to be.

He was evasive about several questions," police officials said this morning.

"We have sufficient evidence to conclude his involvement in the spot fixing case," Roy told mediapersons.

Meiyappan, who was summoned to appear before Mumbai police investigating spot fixing, wanted time till Monday, but the plea was rejected.

He rushed here post-haste by a chartered flight from Madurai and walked into the arms of the waiting team of crime branch sleuths at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport domestic terminal.

Subsequently, he was taken to the Crime Branch headquarters near Crawford Market in south Mumbai and grilled for four hours.

Among other things, he was questioned about his role and involvement in spot fixing, his betting habits and links, whether he indulged in betting and had reportedly lost around Rs. 10 million at the behest of Bollywood actor Vindoo Dara Singh Randhawa, who is also in police custody.

Gurunath Meiyappan, the son-in-law of BCCI chief N Srinivasan, reaches Mumbai to appear before police for questioning in the IPL spot-fixing scandal in Mumbai. (Satish Bate/ Hindustan Times)

He was also confronted with the evidences available with the police and the details of investigations of Vindoo and other bookies already in custody.

Meiyappan's arrest marks a course-changing twist in the ongoing T20 League spot fixing case busted with the arrest of three Rajasthan Royals cricketers S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan, by the Delhi police in Mumbai.

Moving swiftly, the Mumbai police last week nabbed six bookies - Ramesh Vyas, Pandurang Kadam, Pravin Bera, Pankaj Shah, Ashok Vyas and Neeraj &ndash, who remain in custody.

After Vindoo's interrogation, police nabbed a bookie Prem Taneja and a hawala operator Alpesh Patel and recovered Rs.12.80 million cash from his house.

Accordning to report, a faction within the BCCI is planning to initiate suspension proceedings against board president N Srinivasan if he refuses to step down in the aftermath of the T20 spot-fixing scandal that has thrown Indian cricket into disarray.

The development has left Srinivasan cornered and there is a growing clamour for his removal from the top post. But the Tamil Nadu strongman has not given any indication of stepping down on his own despite the growing crisis.

Rattled by his continued defiance, some top Board officials have started the process to oust him by getting him suspended and using the services of his predecessor Shashank Manohar, who has a clean image.

According to a top BCCI official, Manohar has agreed to take up the position on an interim basis till elections are held for a new President.

When contacted, no BCCI official was willing to come on record on this development.

Srinivasan's term will end in September 2014 as per a new amendment in Board's Constitution, which provides for a 2+1 tenure for the President.

It is learnt that four top BCCI officials have already spoken to Manohar on this proposal.

"Manohar has agreed to be the interim President till all the problems are sorted out but he doesn't want to occupy the position for long. He would take it up only in a caretaker capacity," the top official said on condition of anonymity.

(With agency inputs)

First Published: May 25, 2013 11:31 IST