Meiyappan chargesheeted in IPL betting scam
Mumbai: Gurunath Meiyappan, former owner of Chennai Super Kings, was on Saturday chargesheeted along with actor Vindoo Dara Singh and 20 others by Mumbai police in the IPL betting case for forgery, cheating and criminal conspiracy, four months after the scandal rocked the cricketing world.
Pakistani umpire Asad Rauf and 15 alleged bookies from that country have been named as wanted accused in the 11,500-page charge sheet filed by the crime branch in the court of additional chief metropolitan magistrate Uday Padwad.
Meiyappan, son in law of N Srinivasan, who was forced to step aside as BCCI president after the spot fixing and betting scandal broke out in May this year, has been charged under section 66A of the Information Technology Act, sections 4 and 5 of the Gambling Act.
He has also been charged under sections 465 (forgery), 466 (forgery of record of court or of public register), 468 (forgery for cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document), 490 (breach of contract), 420 (cheating), 212 (harbouring the offender), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.
According to sources, Meiyappan and Vindoo, son of actor Dara Singh, and others have been charged only for betting and not spot fixing.
The scam came to light when police arrested bookies Ramesh Vyas, Ashok Vyas and Pandurang Kadam from the city in May and recovered 92 mobile phones, 18 SIM cards, a laptop among other equipment. Thirty of these phones were used to facilitate contacts with bookies in India, Pakistan and Dubai through conference calls made by Vyas.
As the probe progressed, Vindoo’s name surfaced and he was found to be in touch with the bookies. It was through Vindoo that Meiyappan was alleged to have placed bets on IPL matches.
Meiyappan was alleged to have given critical information including those related to the team strategy and composition to Vindoo, who passed those on to the bookies.
The 35-year-old Meiyappan was arrested on May 25 after a three-hour grilling by the Crime Branch.
The former honcho of CSK, twice IPL champions, was in the eye of a huge storm after actor and TV reality show winner Vindoo admitted to having placed bets on his behalf.
Vindoo, winner of reality show Bigg Boss season 3, was allegedly in “frequent touch” with Meiyappan during the IPL matches and was claimed to have told the Crime Branch that the CSK owner had lost Rs 1 crore through betting.
The Crime Branch has annexed call data records of conversations between Vindoo and Meiyappan in the charge sheet.
Meiyappan and Vindoo were granted bail on June 3.
According to the Crime Branch, key bookie brothers Sanjay and Pawan Jaipur, had sent gifts to Pakistani umpire Asad Rauf, who officiated in IPL season 6.
The anticipatory bail pleas of Sanjay and Pawan were recently rejected by the Bombay High Court, which has granted them time to approach the Supreme Court.
“Rauf was supposed to collect costly shoes and dress materials from Delhi, but he didn’t take them after being apparently tipped off. The gifts were sent by Jaipur brothers during the IPL,” according to the Crime Branch, which claimed that Rauf, who left India in a hurry after his name cropped up in the betting racket, was hand-in-glove with the bookies.
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