The CBI Report in Full -- Part 14
Statement of Rattan Mehta Rattan Mehta,
a big time punter of Delhi, stated that he was into cricket betting since 1990. At present he bets with Hans Kumar Jain, Poley and Vikas Sabharwal - all bookies of Delhi. He stated that he was on very friendly terms with Ajay Jadeja for the past many years.
Ajay Jadeja had visited his restaurant - Mini Mahal on many occasions. Rattan Mehta claims that he has not fixed any cricket matches through Jadeja, but has however taken his 'judgement' on matches sometimes. He also denies paying any money to Jadeja.
According to Rattan, Jadeja had not given him any information during the Challenger Trophy between India, India 'A' and India 'B'. Rattan Mehta is also on friendly terms with many members of the Pakistan team. He met Javed Miandad sometime in 1994-95.
Among the present Pakistan players, he is intimate with Wasim Akram, Waqar Younus, Inzamam-Ul-Haq and Saeed Anwar. According to Rattan, the Pakistan team visited his restaurant when they last toured India in 1999 and he had taken the opinion of Pakistan players on a few occasions.
He had also given them 'small gifts'. Asked about Tipu Kohli's statement that Rattan had fixed the Pakistan team in a match during a series in Sri Lanka in 1997, he replied that Tipu Kohli was maligning him since they had had a fight over some financial matters.
Rattan admitted that on some occasions he had stayed at the same hotel as the Pakistan team. Rattan Mehta denied that he had any prior knowledge of India not enforcing the follow-on during the Ahmedabad Test, 1999. He stated that he merely told his friend Pawan Puri to get the 'odds' for a draw from Shobhan Mehta, the Bombay bookie.
Statement of Uttam Chand Jain alias Topi Uttam Chand Jain alias Topi
, a bookie of Chennai, stated that he was into the garment export business. Originally, his father used to sell dhotis and topis and hence his nickname Topi. He was into book making in cricket matches from 1988 to 1993, and at present has left book making to become a punter.
He places bets with many prominent bookies of Bombay and Delhi including Shobhan Mehta, Anil Steel, Luxmi Chand Thana, Hitesh, Jayant Malad, Kothari, Jaya, Mahadev, Shanti, Kamadi and Vinod Chembur of Bombay and Hans, Poley, Anand Saxena, Sunil, Deepak and Shyam Gurnani of Delhi.
He had met Kapil Dev once, many years ago at a function organised by some exporter of Madras whose name he does not recollect. He was also present during a card session with Kapil Dev. This was orgainsed by one Hira Lal of Chennai who runs a gambling house from a hotel room at Hotel Adayar Park Sheraton in Madras.
Kapil Dev had come there and besides himself, one Ashok Jain and Raju were also present during the session. He stated that they played rummy and the stakes were not very high. He never met Kapil Dev thereafter, nor did he telephonically contact him. He did not think that Kapil Dev knew he was a cricket bookie.
He denied knowing any other cricket player, present or past in the Indian team. However, on being shown the print-outs of his cell phone number 98-480-037700 which showed a large number of calls to and from Ajay Jadeja's cell phone number 98-100-34882 just before or during cricket matches, he stated that he met Ajay Jadeja at a function at Chola Sheraton in Madras around 2-3 years ago.
During that function he approached Ajay Jadeja and introduced himself and obtained his cell phone number. He had been regularly ringing him up during cricket matches to get information about the pitch, weather, team composition, probable result, etc. which Jadeja used to provide him.
He paid a sum of around Rs. 1 lakh to Jadeja, initially after introduction. Subsequently, he paid a sum of around 5 lakhs to him when Jadeja was in Bombay recently during some match. This money was transferred through hawala channel through one Mool Chand who is in the hawala racket in Chennai.
Mool Chand had passed on this amount through some contact of his at Bombay. Uttam Chand had passed on a code to Ajay Jadeja through which he could receive the cash from Mool Chand's agent in Bombay. He stated that he had not fixed any matches through Jadeja and paid him only for the information he used to provide.
He also places bets with one Dilip of Dubai since he also takes bets on individual score, team score etc. which is not generally done by Indian bookies. He further stated that whenever he won bets with his Dubai contacts, the money was paid through Shobhan Mehta of Bombay since he also deals in hawala.
Statement of Rajesh Kalra Rajesh Kalra
, a regular punter of Delhi, bets on cricket matches with bookies including Anand Saxena, Pappu Palika of Delhi and also with one Yasin of Bombay. He personally knew Ajay Jadeja, Nikhil Chopra and Manoj Prabhakar whom he got introduced to during visits to the gym at Hotel Park Royal and also the Sports Club at Siri Fort.
According to Kalra, Manoj Prabhakar also placed bets on cricket matches through him on some occasions for a sum of around Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 40,000. On being asked whether he had received information through Nikhil Chopra about cricket matches, he stated that once, probably in the India-South Africa one-day match at Nagpur, he had rung up to find out whether Nikhil Chopra was in the team or not.
He further stated that he wanted this information since Sanjiv Chawla had asked him to get the same. He also knows Ajay Jadeja very well and has contacted him on telephone on a couple of occasions.
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