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  Madhavan's Verdict on Match Fixing : The Complete Report  
 

 

ASPECT WHICH HAS BEEN OMITTED BY CBI

13. The entire report of the CBI deals with evidence pertaining to match fixing and betting as well as the involvement of bookies, punters, players etc. therein. There is however an extremely important aspect which should have been considered and opinion given by the CBI which has not been done. I am setting it out at the outset as I will often refer to the said aspect later in this my report.

14. In many Regular Cases and Preliminary Enquiries which are investigated/enquired into by the CBI, very frequently misconduct committed by public servants, which may not amount to any offence, but violates accepted and expected norms of human conduct in general and Conduct Rules in particular are proved. In such cases, CBI always recommends departmental action for imposing punishment on the guilty persons which punishment should not doubt be commensurate with the misconduct which stood proved.

15. Following are a few illustrative instances of such violation of norms of human conduct:

(a) An SHO often being in close contact with and meeting smugglers, brothel keepers, other criminals etc. and later claiming, when caught, that he was not mixed up with them but was just in frequent contact and that even the meetings were innocuous.

(b) The Chief Secretary of a State often contacting and meeting shady industrialists and businessmen without any official purpose and later claiming, when caught, that the contacts and meetings were innocuous.

(c) A Government official frequently contacting and meeting Embassy staff of a country which is known to be hostile to India and later claiming, when caught, that the contacts and meetings were innocent.

(d) A man frequently contacting and meeting women of ill repute and later claiming, when caught, that such contacts and meetings were platonic.

16. I would be seen that in each of the illustrative instances cited above, which by no means are exhaustive, the person concerned is clearly guilty of misconduct which may not amount to a crime. Such acts by such persons would be misconduct even if there is no Code of Conduct in place. The reason for this is that such activities are undesirable and therefore prohibited by necessary implication, even by normal rules of acceptable human behaviour.

17. In this case, the CBI report clearly establishes that some of the indicted players were in frequent contacts with bookies/punters. The question that arises is whether such senior players were morally correct in even maintaining such close relationship with such bookies/punters. I am of the view that irrespective of the allegation of match fixing/betting and non-existence of the Code of Conduct of BCCI prior to 1st October, 2000, the concerned players are definitely guilty of undesirable activities and misconduct as they were players of eminence and were selected by the BCCI for representing the country at international level. Such players are role models for people in general and budding cricketers in particular and ought not have maintained such close relationship with bookies/punters. I am of the view that on this ground also the concerned players are guilty of misconduct, wherever such contacts and/or meetings are proved by preponderance of probabilities.

PRELIMINARY ASPECTS IN THE REPORT OF THE CBI

18. At Pages 1-13 of the report, CBI has set out the parameters, mechanics used, interpretation of the terminology of match fixing, history of betting syndicates in India, betting procedure, names and addresses of major bookies and punters, dimensions of betting and manipulations. To ensure brevity, it is not necessary to reiterate in my report the contents of the CBI report in respect of the aforesaid aspects. It is suggested that the CBI report itself may please be perused in this regard. I would however state that the approach and observations of the CBI on these aspects are generally correct.

STATEMENTS OF BOOKIES AND PUNTERS

19. At Pages 14 to 54 of the report, CBI has set out in detail the statements of bookies and punters recorded by the CBI. The names of such persons whose statements have been recorded by the CBI and reproduced in the report are as under:-
i) Mukesh Kumar Gupta @ M.K. Gupta @ M.K. @ John
ii) Anil Nagada @ Anil Steel
iii) Anand Sagar Saxena @ Anand @ Chikna
iv) Sanjeev Kohli @ Tipu Kohli
v) Deepak Rajouri
vi) Sanjeev Sacher @ Babloo
vii) Naveen Sachdeva @ Tinku
viii) Jai Bhagwan Gupta
ix) Nishit Goel
x) Ajay Gupta
xi) Sanjay Anand
xii) Anil Saxena
xiii) Pawan Puri
xiv) Rattan Mehta
xv) Uttam Chand Jain @ Topi
xvi) Rajesh Kalra
xvii) Shobhan Mehta
xviii) Daleep Seth @ Satyam Baba

20. Relevant statements of most of the above persons, which as recorded by the CBI are available in Vol.-II of my report.

21. In my capacity as Commissioner, BCCI, I have the power to summon and examine only those persons who are under the control of BCCI, namely past and present cricket players, officials of BCCI and employees of BCCI. Consequently, it is not possible for me to summon any of the persons mentioned above over whom BCCI has no control whatsoever. However, considering the reputation, expertise and objectivity of the CBI in its functioning, I have no reason to doubt that the statements of the said persons have been correctly recorded by the CBI. It is not necessary to set out at this stage their statements as the relevant parts of their statements figure later in the report of the CBI itself while setting out the statements of the players and others and also while analysing the evidence against each of the players and employees. To avoid repetition, I shall also refer to the statements of the aforesaid bookies/punters only while narrating the statements of players, officials and employees recorded by me and while setting out my analysis of the findings of the CBI, explanations of the indicted players and others and my reasoning and opinion thereon.

22. Similarly, I have no jurisdiction also to enquire into or comment upon foreign players who have been indicted by the CBI in its report.

PARAMETERS OF MY REPORT

23. CBI registers, on an average, 1200 cases (RCs & PEs) every year. Some of these cases are prosecuted by the CBI without obtaining of saniction of any competent authority. In some other cases, CBI sends what are called "SP's Report" to the department concerned for obtaining statutory sanction before prosecution. Even in cases where CBI to them does not propose to lodge prosecution but recommends only departmental action by the Ministry or Public Sector Undertaking concerned, "SP's Report" is sent by the CBI making such recommendation. Some cases are closed by the CBI on conclusion of investigation/enquiry without any action. In such cases the allegations turn out to be false or sufficient evidence is not forthcoming for CBI to recommend any action.

24. The present report submitted by the CBI relating to match fixing etc. is in the nature of "SP's Report" sent by the CBI recommending departmental action, namely action by BCCI. This is for the reason that at Pages 138-148 of the report, CBI has analysed the legal position that emerges on the basis of legal advice obtained by the CBI from its own Legal Advisor, Hon'ble Shri Justice Monoj Kumar Mukherjee, former Judge, Supreme Court of India and Shri Harish Salve, Solicitor General of India. The conclusion arrived at by the CBI on the basis of such legal advice is that no criminally prosecutable case has been made out in respect of the allegations in this case.

25. However CBI has expressed the view (at Page 148) that offences under Section 13(1)(d)(i) and (iii) of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 can be registered against Mohd. Azharuddin and Ajay Sharma, who are public servants, as they are employees of SBI and Central Warehousing Corporation respectively. I have my own doubts about the applicability of the said two sub-sections to the said two players, as the misdemeanour was not committed by them qua their status as public servants. This is, however, a matter to be decided by the CBI after evaluation. Neither I nor BCCI has any role to play in this regard.

26. I have already mentioned above that the present report is analogous to an "SP's Report" sent by the CBI to a Ministry or PSU recommending departmental action against certain persons who are under the control of such Ministry or PSU. In such cases, the Ministry or the PSU concerned does not punish the indicted public servants solely on the basis of the findings of the CBI in the SP's Report. On the other hand an enquiry is conducted by the Ministry or PSU concerned in which, most importantly, the indicted person is given opportunity to put forth his defence. This is necessary as such persons, when they were examined by the CBI earlier, would not be aware of what the findings of the CBI would be regarding their culpability. Consequently, when CBI subsequently indicts them, they get an opportunity to defend themselves on the legal principle audi alteram partem, which means "hear the other side also".

In such cases, the Ministry or PSU concerned never goes beyond the CBI report and commence any enquiry against any person who is not indicted in this report of the CBI. This has been the practice in the past five decades in respect of thousands of such SP's Reports sent by the CBI to various Ministries and PSUs. Therefore, in the present matter also it is necessary for me only to conduct inquiry in respect of the following persons by giving them an opportunity to give their explanations regarding their statements recorded by the CBI, the analysis made in the CBI report of the allegations against each of them and to make further submissions/evidence which they may like to put forward. In respect of each such person, the date on which I examined such person, and the place of examination are also set out:-

BCCI Official

Date

Place

i) Shri Kishore Rungta,Hony. Treasurer, BCCI

10th November, 2000

Delhi

Players

 

 

ii)Shri Ajay Sharma

18th November, 2000

Delhi

iii)Shri Manoj Prabhakar

11th November, 2000

Chennai

iv)Shri Mohd. Azharuddin

16th November, 2000

Hyderabad

v) Shri Ajay Jadeja

12th November, 2000

Chennai

vi)Shri Nayan Mongia

12th November, 2000

Chennai

Physiotherapist

 

 

vii) Dr. Ali Irani

12th November, 2000

Chennai

Groundsman

 

 

viii) Ram Adhar @ Choudhary of Delhi

9th November, 2000

Delhi

27. Apart from the above, on 12th November, 2000 I also met Dr. A.C. Muthiah, President, BCCI at Chennai and asked him to furnish explanations/replies to the various observations made in respect of BCCI in the report of the CBI. This request was made to Dr. A.C. Muthiah, because he is presently holding the post of President, BCCI and is therefore the most competent authority to furnish such explanations/replies on behalf of BCCI.

28. Later in this report, I shall analyse the roles played by the aforesaid persons as set out in the CBI report, in juxtaposition with their statements recorded by me and then furnish my final opinion along with grounds for the final opinion.

29. It is not been necessary for me to conduct any enquiry in respect of persons who have not been indicted by the CBI. In particular it is relevant to mention that CBI report has not indicted Navjot Singh Sidhu and the Delhi players except those who have been indicted as above. Similarly, CBI report has also exonerated Kapil Dev as did the Chandrachud Committee.

EVIDENCE OF NON-MATCH FIXING

30. The CBI report is replete with incidents and instances of the aforesaid indicted players (except Shri Nayan Mongia) being in frequent contact with bookies/punters, getting moneys and other favours from bookies/punters. However an extremely important aspect of the CBI report is that on certain occasions, despite alleged gratifications passed on to some of the aforesaid players, the promised results did not come about. As per the report of the CBI, the following are a few such instances of matches not being fixed.
(i) Azharuddin's promises in respect of Titan Cup Series of 1996 (Page 25)
(ii) Azharuddin's promises in respect of the India's Tour to South Africa in 1996 (Page 27).
(iii) Hansie Cronje's promises during the same series (Page 28).
(iv) Azharuddin's promises in respect of the Sahara Cup Tournament in Toronto in 1997 (Page 28).
(v) Some of the information provided by Manoj Prabhakar proved incorrect (Page 33).
(vi) Azharuddin's promises in respect of the series in Sri Lanka in July, 1998 (Page 39).
(vii) Azharuddin's promises in respect of the Toronto Cup tournament in September-October, 1998 (Page 39).  

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