New Delhi: Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar, in an exclusive interview to CNN-IBN on Thursday, said that Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra had not been given any clean chit after his admission to betting in IPL 6. Kundra, during police questioning on Thursday, had admitted to betting on matches of his own team. The police chief, however, added that Kundra's confession was not admissible in court.
The police chief also ruled out any arrests, saying the police had no evidence against Kundra. "We don't have evidence against Raj Kundra, so can't arrest him," he said. Kumar added that no money had been recovered from Kundra and said that there was no evidence to prove his links with spot-fixing.
"So far, there is no evidence to show that Kundra influenced any player to underperform," Neeraj Kumar told CNN-IBN.
When asked whether Kundra would be charged under the Gambling Act, Kumar said it was unlikely since the Delhi Police's case pertains to spot-fixing, and not gambling. He also called the Gambling Act "very weak".
Kumar also said that the police was yet undecided on whether Shilpa Shetty, Kundra's actress wife and co-owner of the Rajasthan Royals team, will be questioned. Kundra's aide Umesh Goenka, described as a bookie by the police, during questioning had revealed that Shilpa had asked him to place a bet during one IPL match.
Shilpa, however, has denied the charges. In a tweet, she said that her "apparent involvement in betting is complete nonsense", adding that "truth will prevail".
During his interview, Neeraj Kumar also said the need of the hour was a stronger law to curb match and spot-fixing. "If there is a special law for match-fixing or spot-fixing, it would greatly help the police," he said.
SN Srivastava, Special Commissioner (Special Cell), meanwhile, said that during questioning, Kundra mentioned that he was placing bets for the last three years and the amount that he lost, "all put together, was to be around Rs 1 crore."
Srivastava said he cannot give a timeline on when Kundra will be called again for questioning.
In Kolkata, Jagmohan Dalmiya, chief of the interim BCCI arrangement, said that the Kundra issue will be discussed at the BCCI emergency meeting on June 10 in New Delhi.
"Raj Kundra issue will be discussed in the Working
Committee, which is going to be held on June 10 and after we hear the details, if it demands any strict action, we will look into it," Dalmiya said. He also said that no BCCI member will be part of the Inquiry Commission comprising High Court judges T Jayaram Chouta and R Balasubramaniam to probe allegations against BCCI chief N Srinivasan's son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan and CSK.
If Delhi police claims are to be believed, Kundra started betting in IPL matches after getting 11.7 per cent stake in Rajasthan Royals in the third edition of the T20 tournament. Kundra is the second IPL team owner after Chennai Super Kings' Gurunath Meiyappan who is in the dock for alleged betting. If the charges against the owners are proved, BCCI can give Rajathan Royals the boot from IPL.
Police have confiscated the passports of Kundra and Goenka to ensure that they do not leave the country during investigations. Kundra has since flown back to Mumbai and will be quizzed again soon.
According to sources, Kundra became one of the owners of the team in the third season of IPL. From the next season onwards, Goenka started watching matches along with Kundra, who used give him match passes. "Kundra used to place bets for the past three years. Kundra used to place bets with Goenka. Goenka was a bookie and forwarded bets to others on behalf of Kundra," a senior police official said.
On the basis of Goenka's statement, he said, they had to call Kundra for questioning.
Police sources said Goenka, who was born in Sikkim, was into share and sponch iron business but he suffered losses. As he stayed near the residence of Kundra's mother, he became a family friend and later went to London where he met Kundra after his business collapsed.
With additional information from PTI