IPL spot fixing BCCI suspends Raj Kundra
The BCCI has suspended Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra from all cricket activities pending inquiry into his alleged involvement in the IPL betting scandal.
“The Working Committee today decided to suspend Raj Kundra on allegations of gambling on IPL VI matches till the pendency of inquiry,” a senior working committee member and BCCI office-bearer said.
“Kundra will be debarred from taking part in any cricketing activity related to Rajasthan Royals which effectively means that he won’t be seen during Rajasthan Royals matches in the upcoming Champions League Twenty20 in September,” he said.
Kundra was questioned by the Delhi Police in connection with the IPL spot-fixing and betting scandal.
The decision to suspend Kundra comes after the police claimed that Kundra had confessed to betting.
BCCI’s Anti Corruption and Security Unit chief Ravi Sawani also tabled his report on the three tainted cricketers — Test pacer S Sreesanth, Ashok Chandila and Ankeet Chavan — who have been arrested for alleged spot-fixing.
The working committee decided to forward the report to the Board’s disciplinary committee.
“The sealed report of Sawani was not opened at the meeting as the committee found it prudent to hand it over to the disciplinary committee,” the official said.
“As is the process of natural justice, the players, once they are out of judicial custody, will be summoned for presenting their side of the story before the final verdict is pronounced,” he added.
Among other decisions, the working committee ratified the name of Sanjay Patel as the Secretary and also elected Mumbai Cricket Association President Ravi Sawant as the Treasurer, a post left vacant by Ajay Shirke in the wake of the spot-fixing scandal.
Monday’s meeting saw some heated exchange between some Board members and former BCCI and current Punjab Cricket Association President I S Bindra, who questioned the authority of Dalmiya.
Bindra asked in what capacity was Dalmiya pronouncing Kundra’s suspension and appointing Patel and Sawant as executive functionaries of the Board since he is not the interim President.
To this, Sawant, who was representing the MCA, protested and showed Bindra a clause in the BCCI Constitution that allows someone to convene and conduct a meeting if five members of the current working committee propose his name. After this, Bindra’s protest didn’t find any takers.
Dalmiya is heading the interim arrangement after N Srinivasan stepped aside as President following allegations of betting against his son-in-law and Chennai Super Kings Team Principal Gurunath Meiyappan. Srinivasan’s company India Cements owns the IPL franchise.
Asked whether there was any discussion regarding Chennai Super Kings during the meeting, the official answered in the negative.
The working committee also decided to remove Srinivasan and former Board Secretary Niranjan Shah from the disciplinary panel.
In another decision, the BCCI Working Committee agreed that the two-member panel — comprising Justice T Jayaram Chouta and Justice R Balasubramanian — which is currently investigating Meiyappan and CSK would also probe Kundra and Rajasthan Royals.
Reacting to the BCCI’s decision, Kundra’s counsel Majeed Memon described it as shocking.
“It’s shocking to find that BCCI has taken a unilateral decision to suspend Raj Kundra. We’re hearing this from media. They haven’t even sent a show cause notice.”
“There is no substance in the allegations against Raj Kundra, this decision of the BCCI is most unjust,” Memon said on Monday.
Rajasthan Royals have already issued a statement saying that Kundra is only a minority shareholder in the franchise and if he is found guilty, he’ll forfeit his shares.
His name came in a statement recorded by his business partner Umesh Goenka, a bookie, during investigations.
Delhi Police claimed that Kundra was into betting but not into fixing. Their questioning was basically into betting, police sources said.
Delhi police had seized Kundra`s passport and asked him not to leave the country till the spot-fixing probe is over.
Kundra and his wife Shilpa Shetty have 11.7 per cent stakes in Rajasthan Royals through Kuki Investment.
Suresh Chellaram and Family (Tresco International Limited) have the bulk of the shares with 44.2 per cent while Manoj Badale (Emerging Media) has 32.4 per cent stakes. Lachlan Murdoch (Blue Water Estate Limited) has 11.7 per cent stakes.