Delhi Police quiz RR owner Kundra

Royal disgrace: Questioned for 10 hours over spot-fixing scandal

Delhi Police quiz RR owner Kundra

Rajasthan Royals owner Raj Kundra and his friend Umesh Goenka were grilled in connection with the Indian Premier League (IPL) spot-fixing scandal at the national capital on Wednesday.

The interrogation went on till late on Wednesday night before they were let off. Police said that they found both their roles “suspicious”, and that both may be called for questioning again.

On whether they may be arrested, a senior police officer said, “The probe is going in the right direction. We have to clarify many things. We can’t arrest anyone without any evidence.”

The Special Cell of Delhi Police summoned Kundra and his friend Goenka for questioning regarding their role in the case and to know more about the organisational set-up of Rajasthan Royals.

Both arrived at Special Cell office at Lodhi Colony on Wednesday morning and were grilled for more than 10 hours. The investigators also called Sidharth Trivedi, who played for Rajasthan Royals and has been made prosecution witness in the case, for questioning and confronting Kundra and Goenka with.

The investigators have grilled Kundra, who has a 11.7-per cent stake in Rajasthan Royals, essentially about ownership details and the “responsibility shared” by him in the team management.

“The Rajasthan Royals team is owned by Manoj Badale, Australian-American media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s son Lachlan Murdoch, Suresh Chellaram and Raj Kundra,” said an investigator.

Kundra has been called in to provide information about the structure of the organisation and his stake, and opinion about the three arrested players — S Sreesanth, Ashok Chandila and Ankeet Chavan. He was also asked about any kind of suspicion on any other player, to which he replied that he had no knowledge about any other player’s role. He said his role was to see and ensure that none of the players got involved with any “unscrupulous elements, as per BCCI instructions”.

On bookies easily meeting players in dressing rooms and hotel rooms independently as well as at after-match bashes, Kundra told police that he did not know that bookies were meeting anyone. “He checked with a few players and found the players stated that the arrested bookies were their relatives and friends,” said a source.

Earlier, the Delhi Police had issued a statement that they would not question Raj Kundra and his wife Shilpa Shetty in connection with the betting scandal, but as matters unravelled, they called him for questioning.

He had free access to players and field. He also told the police that barring one, he was present in every IPL match of his team.

The investigators found Goenka’s role very fishy in the spot-fixing scandal. The police recorded his statement before a magistrate under Section 164 of the CrPC. He has
been made a prosecution witness.

Being a close friend of Kundra, he had free access to the players and team management. During questioning, the investigators found that Goenka had asked Trivedi about the “condition of the pitch” and the chances of “winning or losing a match”. “We are questioning him and verifying his role in the spot-fixing case,” said a senior police officer.

The Delhi Police on Tuesday had invoked the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against all the accused in the IPL spot-fixing case, including the three arrested RR cricketers.

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