Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra on Wednesday pleaded his innocence and said that he has been held guilty despite not having evidence against him, following the Supreme Court-appointed Justice Lodha Committee verdict which suspended him for life from taking part in any form of cricketing activity.
The Lodha panel, in a landmark decision on Tuesday, suspended Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals from the Indian Premier League (IPL) for two years in the spot fixing and betting scandal that rocked the cash-rich Twenty20 tournament in 2013.
Former CSK team official Gurunath Meiyappan, who is the son-in-law of International Cricket Council (ICC) Chairman N. Srinivasan, and Rajasthan Royals co-owner Kundra, both of whom were earlier found guilty of betting, were suspended for life from any cricketing activity undertaken by the BCCI.
“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 said in a statement.
“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 of 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 for betting and also not reporting while being in touch with a bookie.
Earlier 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.”