New Delhi, July 15 (IANS) Pleading innocence and insisting that he has never placed bets on a cricket match, Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra said on Wednesday that he has been held guilty despite there being no evidence against him.
Kundra also alleged that the IPL scam was a conspiracy and he has been pushed into a trap.
The Supreme Court-appointed Justice Lodha Committee verdict on Tuesday suspended him for life from taking part in any form of cricketing activity under the aegis of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
“I met Mudgal committee whenever I was called. My friend was put under pressure, he was given a third degree torture. I have not received till date a copy of their final report in which sweeping conclusions were recorded against me,” Kundra told television channel India Today on Wednesday.
“Lodha panel has been set up only to give the quantum of punishment but not to say whether I am not guilty or not.”
The Lodha panel on Tuesday also suspended Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Royals from the Indian Premier League (IPL) for two years in a 2013 spot fixing and betting scandal.
Former CSK team official Gurunath Meiyappan, who is the son-in-law of International Cricket Council (ICC) Chairman N. Srinivasan, and Royals co-owner Kundra, both of whom were earlier found guilty of betting, were suspended for life.
“Today is a very depressing and sad day for me as my integrity has been questioned and my support in this investigation seems to have backfired. I have always assisted and helped the Mudgal committee from Day 1 till now. It’s disheartening that despite there being no evidence whatsoever against me, I was still deemed to be guilty,” Kundra earlier said in a statement on Wednesday.
“I have not received till date a copy of their final report in which sweeping conclusions were recorded against me. Even the fact that neither the Delhi police nor Rajasthan police found any actionable case against me (for the obvious reasons that there was no evidence or material against me) has been used to make insinuations regarding my guilt for an act I never did.”
The Justice Mudgal Committee was a four-member panel, headed by former High Court judge Mukul Mudgal, which was appointed by the apex court to conduct an independent inquiry into the 2013 IPL spot fixing and betting scandal.
“While I have great respect for the Hon’ble Supreme Court and the judicial system, unfortunately in this case I cannot but feel that I have been wronged. I would request that they share the evidence that they have against me so that I can at least have knowledge of the basis on which they have destroyed my hard-earned reputation,” said Kundra.
“I have anyway washed my hands off cricket in India. I also find it very unfair that the full team, the other owners, the management team, the players and the fans of Rajasthan Royals have been so harshly treated due to the alleged actions of one. However, I am just a minority stakeholder of 11.7%.”
The Lodha and Mudgal committees held Kundra guilty of betting and also not reporting while being in touch with a bookie.
Earlier on Tuesday, Kundra had also tweeted regarding the same.
“Many inaccuracies…Have requested for a copy of the judgement- obviously very shocked and disappointed… #Faith. I stated in front of the Lodha Panel loud & clear ‘NOT GUILTY’ #IPLVerdict I request RTI & any ‘evidence’ against my betting be made public!” tweeted Kundra.
“The #LodhaPanel had 2 decide quantum of punishment and not to decide guilty or not as that was done by #Mudgal committee #FlawedReport. Is it too much to request RTI to see the ‘Evidence’ that the #Mudgal committee has against me. I would like it made public for all to see.”