Rajasthan Royals owner Raj Kundra and his business partner-friend Umesh Goenka were questioned for several hours today in connection with the IPL spot-fixing scandal following the claims made by a cricketer and to know about the ownership pattern of the team.
A senior Delhi Police official refused to clear the air on Kundra, who said he owns 11.7 per cent stake in Rajasthan Royals, whether he is a "suspect or complainant", stating he was an "important person" needed for questioning.
The questioning of both Kundra and Goenka began around 10 am and continued till late in the evening.
Sources said the name of Goenka, with whom Kundra owns a company dealing in steel business, came during the recording of statement of Rajasthan Royal player Sidharth Trivedi, a prosecution witness in the case.
In his statement recorded before a magistrate, sources said, Trivedi claimed that Goenka approached him and sought details about the cricket pitch in Ahmedabad and details about team formations.
According to police sources, Kundra was called over phone to appear before investigators who wanted to ask about the ownership details of Rajasthan Royals.
"Kundra told police that he owned 11.7 per cent while Suresh Chelaram, co-brother of Lalit Modi owned 43 per cent and Manoj Badale has 34 per cent. Rupert Murdoch's son Lalchan Murdoch also has stake in the team," a senior police official said.
Kundra, a British national, has 42 per cent stake in the steel business with Goenka who has 16 per cent shares in the firm, they said.
"Kundra did not have much to say about the players. When we told him that as the owner, he has to ensure that players do not get in touch with unscrupulous elements as per BCCI instructions, he said the cricketers were adults and many times they took guests inside hotels saying they were personal friends," the official said.
Asked whether they were treating Kundra as a suspect, the official said, "we are neutral about him now. We are interrogating him."
"Goenka was close to Kundra. Kundra has invited Goenka for after-match parties. Goenka used to meet players," he said.
Earlier this week, Delhi Police had sought inputs from former BCCI Secretary Sanjay Jagdale and IPL CEO Sundar Raman on the tripartite agreement between BCCI, IPL teams and players.
Delhi Police had yesterday invoked the stringent MCOCA against suspended cricketer S Sreesanth and 22 others in the IPL spot-fixing scandal for which the "command" originated from underworld don Dawood Ibrahim's outfit.
Following this, a Delhi court remanded Sreesanth, another player Ajit Chandila and the others to further judicial custody till June 18.
There are total 26 accused arrested by the Delhi Police in the case, out of which Rajasthan Royals' Ankeet Chavan is on interim bail till June 6 while Sreesanth's friend Abhishek Shukla is on regular bail.