First match was fixed, then Gurunath Meiyappan placed huge bets, say police

Gurunath MeiyappanGurunath Meiyappan, the son-in-law of BCCI chief N Srinivasan, reached Mumbai to appear before the Mumbai crime branch for questioning in connection with the IPL spot-fixing scandal. (Express photo by Prashant Nadkar)

Gurunath Meiyappan, head of the Chennai Super Kings and son-in-law of BCCI chief N Srinivasan, used to place "huge bets" on IPL matches after fixing the game, Mumbai Police on Saturday told a metropolitan court which sent him to police custody till May 29.

The CSK team principal shared inside information about the Chennai franchise with bookies to make money, the Mumbai Crime Branch told the court. "First a particular match was fixed, then Gurunath used to place huge bets on those matches," the Crime Branch said in its remand application, adding that Meiyappan needed to be interrogated further to unravel the betting racket. Express Editorial: Disqualify CSK, sack Srinivasan

Public prosecutor Wajid Sheikh told the court that even during the matches, a large number of calls were made by Meiyappan to arrested actor Vindoo Dara Singh, who would then call bookies Jupiter, Pawan Jaipur and Sanjay Jaipur asking them to place the bets.

The remand application said the Crime Branch also intended to investigate Meiyappan's relations with controversial Pakistani umpire Asad Rauf who was allegedly in touch with bookies. It said the police also wanted to find out the financial arrangement between Vindoo and Meiyappan.

"Cricket is a natural game but they make it unnatural," said Sheikh, seeking seven days' police remand for Meiyappan. Also, police said they needed to seize four mobile phones used by Meiyappan.

Defence counsel Abad Ponda said Meiyappan's arrest was illegal, saying if a person appears before the police pursuant to summons, he cannot be arrested. "Moreover, there is no wrongful gain and nobody was cheated. In fact, Gurunath lost money," he said.

Later, speaking to mediapersons, Joint Commissioner (crime) Himanshu Roy said that as per the normal procedure, police would search the premises owned by Meiyappan to gather evidence. Meiyappan, he said, was placing bets through Vindoo, not only on matches involving his own team but other IPL entities as well for the last two years. He said though Meiyappan had lost Rs 1 crore through betting in the current IPL season, he mostly won when he betted on matches involving the Chennai franchise.

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