The Telegraph
Tuesday , February 11 , 2014
CIMA Gallary

Cops await nod to probe Raj, Shilpa

New Delhi, Feb. 10: Delhi police today said they were keen to investigate the roles of Shilpa Shetty and husband Raj Kundra, the co-owner of Rajasthan Royals, in the IPL spot-fixing scandal they had busted last May.

“We are very keen and awaiting the direction of the Supreme Court before further probing the role of Shilpa Shetty and Raj Kundra in the spot-fixing and betting racket,” special commissioner S.N. Srivastava told The Telegraph.

The police, who questioned Kundra for over 12 hours last June, claimed he had admitted to betting on IPL matches for the last three seasons and confessed to losing Rs 1 crore.

The break-up he apparently gave them of his losses was: Rs 50 lakh in IPL 2011, Rs 40 lakh in 2012 and Rs 12.5 lakh in 2013.

Investigators later clarified that no spot-fixing charges were made out against him in the preliminary probe.

Kundra’s business partner, friend and alleged bookie Umesh Goenka, who was arrested, had claimed that Shilpa placed a lone bet during last year’s IPL played in Jaipur. But the actress denied the allegation on Twitter.

A probe had revealed that Kundra invited Goenka to several post-match parties where the latter used to meet players.

“We had examined details of the bank accounts of Kundra and Shilpa to probe any possible link to spot-fixing. But the case was transferred to Jaipur police as the match she betted on was played at Jaipur. We wanted to question her but could not do so as the case was transferred,” said a senior officer of the special cell.

The officer said the police could have straightaway booked Kundra and Shilpa for gambling based on Goenka’s statement but did not because the focus of the probe was not on betting, which is a bailable offence.

“We will definitely question the husband and wife if the apex court directs us to further probe the case and get to the root of their involvement. It needs to be probed as Jaipur police has not made any headway in the case,” he added.

Kundra today said: “I have great faith in the law, it will take its own course. If anyone can prove me guilty of any wrongdoing, I will forego my shares in Rajasthan Royals. I am being attacked because I am sitting on the lower branches.”

Last May, Delhi police’s special cell had busted the IPL scandal and arrested suspended Rajasthan Royals players, Ankit Chavan, S. Sreesanth and Ajit Chandila, and 36 others. All are out on bail.

“We focused on the arrested players and bookies’ links with Dawood Ibrahim’s crime syndicate. During that time, we could not find out whether Kundra and Shilpa had any such connection. But now we are willing to start the probe again to ascertain whether they were also involved in spot-fixing like the other accused,” he said.