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  Madhavan's Verdict on Match Fixing : The Complete Report  
 

 

MOHD. AZHARUDDIN

128. We have now to analyse the role of the leader of Indian cricketers for most part of the last decade. Reportedly an introvert and lone ranger, I found him pleasant mannered and externally calm during my interaction with him on 16th November, 2000 at Ramada Inn Manohar, Hyderabad. Barring a few minor hiccups in the process of making him appear before me, he finally presented himself before me at Hyderabad on 16th November, 2000 at about 12 noon, though I had summoned him at 9 a.m.

129. In the report of the CBI, his statement as recorded by the CBI is appearing at Pages 68-71. I have had the benefit of getting his verbatim statement from CBI, which is placed at Pages 016-020 in Vol-II. His statement, as recorded by me, on 16th November, 2000 is placed at Pages 048-088 in Vol.-III.

130. Mohd. Azharuddin (Azhar for short) is a B.Com Graduate and graduated from Nizam College, Hyderabad in 1983. At the senior level, he represented Osmania University in 1980, started playing Ranji Trophy in 1981 and was selected for the national team in 1984. Since then, he has more or less continuously played for the country except on a few occasions when he was either dropped or due to health reasons. Recently, due to allegations of match fixing, he has again not been selected for the national team.

131. He has been working in the State Bank of India from 1983 and is presently in Scale-IV and designated as Chief Manager & PRO. He is posted at Hyderabad.

132. His father, Shri Mohd. Azizuddin, retired from the rank of Senior Accounts Officer from Andhra Pradesh State Electricity Board. He has 4 brothers, who are not involved in cricket. He has two sisters, both of whom are married. He is therefore from a middle class family. If the extent of success of a person is the distance he has travelled from his origin till his final achievement, Azhar has been highly successful till nemesis caught up with him.

133. Due to his preoccupation with the game of cricket, he used to file his annual property returns in SBI off and on. However, recently his annual property returns have been fully completed and brought on record. This is probably because CBI has asked for them from SBI. From 1984-85 onwards, he has been regularly filing his income-tax returns through Karvi Consultants, who are his Chartered Accountants.

134. As asked for by me Azhar made available to me copies of his receipts and payments are reflected in his IT returns from financial year 1989-90 up to 1998-99. These are available at Pages 048-088 of Vol.-III. As the said statements contain quite some information about the split up of details of his receipts and payments, I am furnishing below, for ready reference, details of his receipts only.

Sl.No.

Financial Year

Total Receipts(in Rupees)

1.

1989-90

5,50,488.08

2.

1990-91

19,08,371.04

3.

1991-92

4,90,398.15

4.

1992-93

23,48,569.00

5.

1993-94

36,63,516.79

6.

1994-95

1,00,83,501.95

7.

1995-96

1,30,81,416.61

8.

1996-97

2,54,27,404.69

9.

1997-98

2,37,00,115.76

10.

1998-99

3,79,44,587.23

 

TOTAL

11,91,98,369.30

135. In the statements recorded by CBI, Azhar stated that he had the following movable and immovable properties.
"(1) Flat No. 501, 5th Floor, next to 'Holiday Inn', Hyderabad, which I acquired through loan and stands in my name.
"(2) Plot of land measuring 1000 Sq. Yds. In Hi Tech area Madhavpur, Andhra Pradesh, granted to me by Andhra Pradesh Government.
"(3) Plot of land at Vishakhapatnam purchased in the year 1987 for Rs. 27,000/-.
"(4) Plot of land granted by Karnataka Government at Bangalore which I acquired for Rs. 5 lacs in the year 1998-99.
"(5) A plot of land at 'Priya Land Developer', a Society patronised by Ajit Wadekar somewhere between Mumbai and Pune.
"(6) Two flats no. 601 and 701 at Hill Road, Bandra, Mumbai which I acquired in 1996. These flats are owned jointly by me and my wife.
"(7) A bunglow by the name Villa-D Amrutha Valley, Road No. 12, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad.

"I have also paid approximately Rs. 2 lacs in 1992 to Kapil Dev for some land at Gurgaon. However, I have not acquired this plot so far since it is under some litigation.

"Besides the above said immovable property, I also own following cars:
1) Honda Accord presented to me by one Saifuddin in 1987 at Dubai. Saifuddin is an Indian originally hailing from Rajasthen and runs a perfume business in Dubai.
2) Mercedes Benz-220-D gifted to me by a friend Mony Verma in 1995. He is based in England and has some business.
3) Mercedes Benz-320-E bought by me in 1995 for Rs. 20 lacs.
4) Opel Astra bought by me in 199 for Rs. 8-9 lacs which I paid by cheque.
5) Maruti 800 purchased be me through bank loan and is at present with my father.

"I further state that I have imported some good quality furniture from abroad on some occasions".

136. I am of the view that the gift of the two cars, Honda Accord and Mercedes Benz-220-D are far too expensive "gifts" received by him.

137. Regarding the above, Azhar confirmed to me that he had conveyed to the CBI about the immovable properties at Sl.No. 1 to 6. He stated that the property Sl.No. 7 actually belongs to his aunt Mrs. Aneesa Sultana. He added that this property was no doubt mentioned during his interrogation by the CBI but appears to have been included as his property due to oversight. He added that he did own another flat in Amrutha Valley, Road No. 12, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad, which, at the time of his separation from his former wife Mr. Naureen was given by him to her in exchange of dowar/meher as maintenance in 1996.

138. Azhar also stated before me that for the land in Gurgaon, he had paid only Rs. 50,000 to Kapil Dev and not Rs. 2 lakhs as set out in the statement recorded by CBI. He does not know the name of the area where the land is situated.

139. On my query, he stated that he is now staying in a rented house at No. 164, Road No. 14, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad for which he is paying a rent of Rs. 20,000 per month. He said that he is staying in a rented house as he had given away the only flat in Hyderabad to his former wife and did "not have enough money now to buy a flat or house. To your query as to how the situation has come about, my answer is whatever money I had earned and saved out of my playing matches, getting awards and financial benefits, advertisement revenues etc. were all invested by me in buying Flat Nos 601 and 701 at Hill Road, Bandra, Mumbai in 1996. I do not exactly recall as to how much I paid for those flats ......................". He had not rented out the said two flats at Mumbai and they are kept locked.

140. To my query, he stated that as he has been quite busy in playing matches and being out of Hyderabad for long periods, he is generally not being claiming House Rent Allowance, Medical Reimbursement, Conveyance Allowance etc. from SBI.

141. He also stated that he used to own a house at Road No. 10, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad, where he used to stay with his parents. He had acquired the said house in 1994. In December 1999 or so, he sold the said house for Rs. 36 lakhs. Along with the said money and a loan of Rs. 8 lakhs taken from SBI, he bought Flat No. 501, Nest Apartments, Erramanzil, Hyderabad. He bought this flat mainly for the stay of his parents where they are now staying.

142. He confirmed that he owned 5 cars as recorded by the CBI.

143. Regarding the statement recorded by the CBI he stated, he had never made any financial investments in HCL Agro as recorded by CBI. The persons who set up the project were his friends and Azhar only helped them in getting some of the necessary clearances from Governmental agencies. He added that he did not make any investment in Ratna Cement Factory as set out in his statement recorded by CBI. He confirmed that he got the modelling contract for Tissot watches through Ashraf Patel, who was his friend. Ashraf Patel was murdered sometime back in Mumbai. Ashraf Patel was a dealer in Mumbai for Tissot watches and when the company wanted to engage Azharuddin as a model, they approached him through Ashraf Patel. Azharuddin confirmed that he had a contract with Reebok to use cricket bats with their logo. The contract is no more in force. Azharuddin added that he had a modelling contract for promoting Pepsi, which was terminated by them recently. He had visited the shop of Ashraf Patel for promotional activities of Tissot watches. Azharuddin stated that he had not made any financial investment through or with Ashraf Patel. Ashraf Patel had no involvement in cricket.

144. Regarding Ajay Sharma, he stated that the relationship with Ajay Sharma was only as a fellow cricketer and he had no monetary transactions with Ajay Sharma at all.

145. I have now reached the stage in this opinion where I would not like to convert the statement of Azharuddin a narrative form instead of setting it out in my language. I consider it more appropriate that I should exactly reproduce hereunder as in his statement, appearing in the original. It is no doubt lengthy, but considering the importance of the statement, it is very necessary that I should follow his style of narration. In fact, I am afraid that any attempt by me at converting this part of the statement from first person singular to third person would in fact make the narration more lengthy.

"19. The following portion my statement recorded by the CBI has now been read out to me:

20) "On being asked about introducing Mukesh Kumar Gupta @ MK to Hansie Cronje at Kanpur in 1996, I state that I had done so and I only knew Mukesh Gupta as a Jeweller. On being asked whether I know that MK is a bookie, I state that this person was first introduced to me by Ajay Sharma some time in 1995 at Hotel Taj Palace, S.P. Marg, New Delhi."

21) I never said as above before the CBI. I have never known any person called Mukesh Kumar Gupta alias MK. I have never known him as John also. I never introduced him to any one. In particular, I did not introduce him to Hansie Cronje at Kanpur in 1996 or at any other time. As I did not know Mukesh Kumar Gupta at all, my knowing him only as a jeweller does not arise. Similarly, the question of my knowing MK as a bookie also does not arise. It is not correct that MK was first introduced to me by Ajay Sharma some time in 1995 at Hotel Taj Palace, New Delhi. Ajay Sharma did not introduce him to me at any time.

22)QUESTION BY COMMISSIONER:Hansie Cronje has deposed that MK was introduced to him by you. What do you have to say regarding this?
ANSWER
23).No. I did not introduce MK to Hansie Cronje. I do not now know why Hansie Cronje has deposed like that.

24).QUESTION OF COMMISSIONER: Do you have or had at any time any enmity with Hansie Cronje?
ANSWER
25). No

26). You have now read out to me the following portion in my statement as recorded by the CBI. "He along with Ajay Sharma has been approaching me to under perform in some matches for a consideration. I do not member the exact amount paid to me but I remember that Mukesh Gupta had offered me a sum of Rs. 1.25 crores but the deal did not materialize. However, I have taken money on some occasions from him but did not under perform in most of the matches. On being asked specifically, I state that the "Titan Cup" match between India and South Africa at Rajkot in 1996 was fixed through Mukesh Gupta and Ajay Sharma. In that series, Ajay Jadeja and Nayan Mongia were also involved along with me. On being asked I state that perhaps some match in 'Pepsi Asia Cup' at Srilanka in 1997 was also fixed through him. I do not recollect any other matches in which I may have been fixed through MK".

27). My reply is that I did not state as above to CBI at all. When I have stated before you that I did not know Mr. Mukesh Gupta, the question of these activities does not arise at all. I deny each and every allegation in the aforesaid quoted portion. I never made any statement or admission before CBI and therefore this part of the statement has also been wrongly recorded.

28). The following portions of my statement recorded by the CBI have now been read out to me. "On being asked about Ajay Gupta, Gyan Gupta and Amish Gupta whose Cell phone numbers figure frequently in my mobile, I state that I met them through Ajay Sharma some time in 1998 since I had a letter of intent for a petrol pump issued by the Ministry of Petroleum in 1996 and there was some litigation and I wanted to seek their help.

On being asked whether Amish Gupta s/o Gyan Gupta paid my bills at Harrods in England in 1999 during the World Cup, I state that I had made some purchases and Amish Gupta had paid for the same. On being asked whether Ajay Gupta and his associates are also involved in match fixing through me, I state that they have approached me some times to under perform for a consideration.

I do not remember how much money I received from them. However, the Pepsi Cup Match between Pakistan-India at Jaipur in 1999 was fixed through them. Ajay Jadeja and Nayan Mongia were also involved with me in that particular Match. I was paid around Rs. 10 lacs after this match by some person whom I do not know on their behalf. I also state that Amish Gupta had also given me a mobile 98-111-50860 through which he used to contact me during matches".

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