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|June 29, 2000||
Nikhil Chopra deposes before CBI
Onkar Singh in New Delhi
India and Delhi offspinner Nikhil Chopra appeared before the Central Bureau of Investigation today and spent more than 45 minutes with the sleuths.
At the end of the session, Chopra told rediff.com that the CBI had asked him general questions about match-fixing and his own impression of whether games were being fixed.
He denied that any particular instances of match-fixing were discussed. He also denied knowing businessman Mukesh Gupta who happens to live near his house in Delhi's Defence Colony.
"I was going to England for some matches, but I thought I better get this out of my way. My appointment was fixed three days before Mukesh Gupta appeared before the CBI," he said.
CBI Joint Director R N Savani also denied that there was any link between Nikhil Chopra being summoned and Gupta appearing before the CBI yesterday.
"I would like to clarify that the appointment with Nikhil Chopra was fixed much before Mukesh Gupta unexpectedly appeared before us yesterday," Savani told rediff.com
CBI officers refused to give details of Mukesh Gupta's interrogation or of Nikhil Chopra. They clarified that so far people were being only examined and not interrogated because there is no accused in the case. But sources said Gupta might be summoned again if need be.
Officers also clarified that Gupta had been sent a summons just a day before he appeared, and he was expected to appear before the CBI as the agency knew he was in Delhi. They declined to say, however, if a senior CBI officer had visited Gupta's jewellery shop in South Extension and pressed the family to force him to get his statement recorded.
The CBI also denied that Gupta was being kept in illegal custody as he had failed to show up at his residence after the three-and-a-half-hour questioning.
Mail Sports Editor
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