The CBI Report in Full -- Part 13
Statement of Anil Saxena Anil Saxena
stated that he was previously working as Food and Beverages Manager at Hotel Taj Palace, S.P. Marg and had now been transferred from Delhi to Jaipur recently. He stated that Mohd. Azharuddin used to stay at Hotel Taj Palace whenever he visited Delhi, and over a period of time, they became good friends.
He used to odd jobs for Azharuddin, including picking up his wife from the airport when she came to Delhi. Azharuddin had two lockers in the hotel when he was posted as Food and Beverages Manager there. On being asked how this was permitted even when Azharuddin was not a guest at Hotel Taj Palace, he stated that this was done under the permission of the GM of the hotel.
Ajit Saxena revealed that whenever Azharuddin and Sangita Bijlani came to Delhi, they used to operate these lockers. Otherwise the keys used to remain with him. Once Ajay Sharma had come with a sum of Rs. 15 lakhs some years ago and Anil Saxena had opened the locker and deposited the amount in Azhar's lockers.
The cash was in the denomination of Rs. 50 and Rs. 100 notes. Azharuddin had rung him up and directed him to pay around Rs. 10 lakhs to some person whose name he doesn't remember now. Thereafter he paid that amount to the person after verifying that Azhar had sent him. Sometime immediately after that, Azharuddin and Sangita Bijlani had come to Hotel Taj Palace with Ajay Sharma.
He heard Ajay Sharma saying that the wanted some money to buy a flat and Sangita Bijlani took out Rs. 5 lakhs from the locker and paid Ajay Sharma in Anil Saxena's presence. After this, there were no more transactions in that locker. Statement of Pawan Puri Pawan Puri has been running an interior fecoration firm for the past 20 years and has two offices, one at Greater Kailash-I and one at Parliament Street, New Delhi.
He stated that he was fond of betting on horses and cricket matches and had been betting on cricket through bookies, including Anand Saxena, Deepak and Sudesh of Delhi and Shobhan Mehta of Bombay. He is very friendly with Rattan Mehta whom he met around 10 years ago and said that Rattan Mehta was a big time punter, who usually bets around Rs. 4-5 lakhs in any single cricket match.
Pawan Puri stated that Rattan Mehta was very close to the Pakistani team and to Ajay Jadeja in the Indian team. He recalled an incident which occurred a few years ago in which Tipu Kohli and Rattan fought over a Sri Lanka-Pakistan match. It appeared to him that Rattan Mehta had fixed the Pakistan team to lose and had demanded Rs. 25 lakhs from Tipu Kohli to pay the Pakistan team which Tipu Kohli refused, and as a result there was a fight which probably ruined their friendship.
He further stated that when the Pakistan team visited India sometime back, they were entertained by Rattan Mehta at his 'Mini Mahal' restaurant in Vasant Vihar. According to Pawan, Rattan Mehta used to frequently ring up Ajay Jadeja on his mobile phone and was always secretive during his conversation with him.
Once there was a party at his friend Dimpy's house on 31.10.99 to which both he and Rattan Mehta were also invited. Around 11 pm on that day he picked up Rattan Mehta from his house at Panchsheel Enclave to go to Dimpy's house which is at Sainik Farms. On the way Rattan Mehta asked him to ring up Shobhan Mehta, a Bombay bookie and asked him to place a bet to the effect that the ongoing match between India-New Zealand at Ahmedabad would end in a draw.
He was surprised as to how Rattan Mehta could anticipate this since New Zealand were in a precarious position on 31.10.99 and very few persons would have anticipated that the match would end in a draw. He dialled Shobhan's number and placed a bet to this effect. Even Shobhan Mehta was sceptical and since he was quite close to him, he advised him not to place this bet.
However he told Shobhan that he was placing bets on somebody else's behalf. On being asked as to why Rattan placed bets with Shobhan through him and not directly, he stated that Rattan does not have an account with Shobhan and hence he had to place this bet through him. At Dimpy's place, Rattan Mehta, after getting drunk, boasted that he had exact information about the outcome of the Ahmedabad Test match and also placed bets with some other bookies, whose names he did not remember.
On another occasion he had met Jadeja when he was flying from Bombay to Delhi. Around that time a domestic series between India, India 'A' and India 'B' teams had just ended. Ajay Jadeja was the captain of the India 'B' team and he had heard in bookie circles that Ajay Jadeja had agreed to lose matches for India 'B' team at the behest of Rattan Mehta who made around Rs. 20 lakhs through betting in this series.
When he told Ajay Jadeja that Rattan Mehta had made around 20 lakhs in that series, Ajay Jadeja had told him that he had made only around Rs. 1 or 2 lakhs and that he would teach Rattan a lesson. According to Pawan, there were strong rumours that whenever Ajay Jadeja fixed a match through Rattan Mehta, Azharuddin and Nayan Mongia were also parties in such an arrangement.
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