The Maharashtra police have filed the charge sheet in the IPL betting case against 32 persons including Gurunath Meiyappan, son-in-law of former BCCI President N Srinivasan, actor Vindu Singh Randhawa, Pakistani umpire Asad Rauf in a Mumbai court on Saturday.
The 11500 page voluminous charge sheet gives a detailed account on how huge sums of money were placed as bets on the IPL matches. Meiyappan according to the police was not an ordinary punter as he had access to inside information about the team composition and other details owing to his position as team principal of Chennai Super Kings.
The police are solely basing their case on mobile conversations between Meiyappan, actor Vindu and others discreetly recorded by the police and the statement of the accused. The police are expected to present voice sample analysis and forensic reports along with the recorded conversation.
The charges against the 22 arrested and 16 absconding from Pakistan (Rauf and bookies) range from gambling, violation of the Information Technology Act, forgery, cheating, breach of contract and criminal conspiracy. The police have listed 196 witnesses but not a single one has figured from the BCCI.
Meiyappan and other accused ought to heave a sigh of relief as the police have not included charges of spot fixing as done by Delhi against Sreesanth and others. The biggest relief for the accused persons could derive from the fact that conviction in cricket betting case is zero in the state.
Unlike other forms of gambling where the police are able to prove transaction of cash or kind, there is none to be found in cricket betting. The bettings are placed and accounts are settled much after the games are over. When betting racket is busted by the police, those involved would either postpone the settling of betting scores or use a channel that would be beyond the scanner of the law enforcement agencies to detect. So is in this case where the police were not able to come up with a shred of evidence on the financial transaction. “For instance the mobile phone conversation reveals Meiyappan placing bets with Vindu. This has to be corroborated with financial transaction to prove the case,” said a senior IPS officer. The officer added that to prove their case of betting, the police would have to come up with evidences of financial transactions sans which the entire exercise would be rendered futile.
While another senior police officer said notwithstanding the lack of evidence to reveal financial transaction, Meiyappan may face conviction for passing crucial information to Vindu which amounts to breach of trust and cheating.
The Mumbai police had busted an international betting racket in May during the IPL season 6. The police had been monitoring Vindu's phone which led them to Meiyappan. All the accused are out in bail and the next hearing in the case scheduled on November 21.