New Delhi: The BCCI interim chief, Jagmohan Dalmiya, on Thursday promised action against Rajasthan Royals owner Raj Kundra "if needed", after the latter admitted before the Delhi Police that he had been involved in betting during the Indian Premier League matches.
At a press conference in Kolkata, Dalmiya said that a BCCI Working Committee meet will be held on June 10 where the "Raj Kundra issue will be looked into".
Kundra, during police interrogation on Thursday, had admitted to betting on matches of his own team. The police said that Kundra placed bets through his aide and team co-owner Umesh Goenka. "Kundra used to place bets for the past three years. Kundra placed bets with Goenka. Goenka was a bookie and forwarded bets to others on behalf of Kundra," a senior police official said.
The Delhi Police has now confiscated their passports to ensure they don't leave the country while the investigations are on.
Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar, in an exclusive interview to CNN-IBN on Thursday, affirmed that Kundra had not been given a clean chit. He, however, ruled out his arrest. "We don't have evidence against Raj Kundra, so we can't arrest him," he said. He said that there was no evidence to link Kundra to spot-fixing either.
Another police official, SN Srivastava of the Special Cell, 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".
When asked whether Kundra would be charged under the Gambling Act, Neeraj 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".
Police sources said Kundra was likely to be quizzed again. However, Srivastava said he cannot give a timeline on when Kundra will be called again for questioning.
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 to give him match passes.
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 sponge 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.
Yet undecided on questioning Shilpa Shetty: Delhi Police chief
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".
Need stronger laws: Neeraj Kumar
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.
Will RR be terminated from IPL?
Sources say the BCCI is likely to examine if Rajasthan Royals violated clause 11.3 (C) of the BCCI-IPL Franchise agreement. Sources say the BCCI members will discuss the termination clause for IPL teams in the Rajasthan Royals issue.
Rule 11.3 in the BCCI-IPL rule book says, "(c) The Franchisee, any Franchisee Group Company and / or any Owner acts in any way which has a material adverse effect upon the reputation or standing of the League, BCCI-IPL, BCCI, the Franchisee, the Team (or any other team in the League) and / or the game of cricket."
With additional information from PTI