I admit I am a gambler. I have bet crores, and have won and lost crores too on IPL matches all summer. Vindu (Dara Singh) also forced me to pass on inside information on team compositions to him. But I am no fixer,” Gurunath Meiyappan alias ‘Guru’, the disgraced team principal of the Chennai Super Kings told a Mumbai court yesterday.
The CSK team boss was subjected to detailed grilling on Saturday. The 37-year-old son-in-law of BCCI chief N Srinivasan was grilled by top crime branch officers before being produced in court and finally being remanded to custody till May 29.
Won all bets on CSK: Guru
A police officer, on condition of anonymity, said, “Guru told the police and the court that he had won almost all bets he placed on his own team this year. We are trying to find out if he had a hand in Chennai Super Kings losing to bottom-ranked Pune Warriors, as it is unlikely that such a strong team could lose so easily to Pune.” Guru also claimed he had won 80 per cent of all the bets he has placed on IPL matches over the years.
Speaking to SUNDAY MiD DAY a senior police official claimed that Guru and Vindu were in constant touch with each other during many of the IPL matches, especially during the strategic time outs. The IPC section of harbouring offenders, already applied on Vindu, has now been slapped on Guru as well.
Heated arguments in court
Charged under various sections of forgery under the Indian Penal Code, along with cheating and even criminal conspiracy, Sections 4 and 5 of the Gambling Act and Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, several police guards escorted Guru to the Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court at Esplanade on Saturday afternoon, to secure his remand.
Appearing on Guru’s behalf, advocate Aabad Ponda argued that betting was a bailable offence. “He has a wife, kids and family. There is no point in arresting him. He is not going to run away,” Ponda told the court.
As the arguments dragged on for over an hour, it looked as though the wily school dropout might slip through police fingers. But the tide turned when Metropolitan Magistrate MP Paaghe was shown transcripts of Guru’s conversations with Vindu Dara Singh. The court promptly remanded him to police custody till May 29.
Vindu and Guru face to face
Meanwhile co-accused Vindu and Guru were brought face to face. A police officer said, “Guru used to pass on information to Vindu, who would place bets on his behalf. Everything from details of fielding, who will open the bowling, changes in the lineup that must have been discussed during team meetings by captain MS Dhoni, were all passed on to Vindu.” Guru has now told the police that Vindu used him and the tips he supplied, for his own gain.