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June 7, 2013
Rajasthan Royals have said the franchise's co-owner Raj Kundra will be suspended and have to "forfeit his shares" if he is found guilty of any wrongdoing. Kundra, who according to Delhi Police has admitted to betting on IPL games, is a minority shareholder and has no part in the running of the franchise, according to a statement issued by Royals' chairman Ranjit Barthakur and CEO Raghu Iyer.
"Mr Raj Kundra is a minority (11.7%) shareholder, and he has no involvement in the running of the franchise. We believe that [he] is a law-abiding citizen and would not act contrary to law. If, however, he is proven guilty, or has breached any regulations, he will be suspended, and will also forfeit his shares," the statement said. "This is a strict governance procedure agreed to by all Rajasthan Royals shareholders, and it is consistent with our zero tolerance approach.
"As a franchise, we have always been clear that the same rules apply to players, management or owners. As such, our actions will be consistent as in the case of the spot-fixing allegations with respect to our players."
Kundra had confessed to betting on IPL matches, including games involving his own team, Delhi's police commissioner had said on Thursday. "Raj Kundra has confessed to betting," Neeraj Kumar, the Delhi Police commissioner, told reporters. "He would place bets through Umesh Goenka, who is a bookie."
However Kundra indicated on Twitter that the media had "misconstrued everything", and issued a statement reiterating that he had done nothing "for which I need to have any regrets".* He would give up his share in the franchise, if proven guilty on any count, Kundra said: "Factually the discussions [in the media] about me are not wholly true. The version is either twisted, misconstrued or exaggerated to make it highly news-worthy.
"I have always remembered that the franchise takes a zero tolerance approach to betting, spot-fixing or match-fixing and I entirely and whole heartedly endorse the same. As far as my alleged own act of commission or omission is concerned, I reiterate that I am totally innocent and in any event I wish to make it abundantly clear that if an iota of wrong doing is finally established against me I would unhesitatingly forfeit my share in the franchise."
Kundra and his friend and business partner Goenka were questioned by Delhi Police over 12 hours. He had "volunteered" to answer the police's queries, and leave his mobile phone with them, Kundra said. "As a shareholder in Royals, the investigating team of Delhi Police deemed it fit to question me. Upon receipt of information that the police had certain questions to be put to me, I as a law abiding citizen volunteered to positively respond to the call. Needless to say, I satisfactorily replied to the queries raised by the police and they accordingly allowed me to leave after my questioning.
"As the case develops, in due process, it may become necessary for the police to question me further. In the interest of justice, it is crucial that I am available in India. As such I have voluntarily retained my passport with the police and have also assured my full cooperation. Delhi Police themselves have had no grievance with regard to this and they have already stated so publicly through the media."
Kundra is now likely to be investigated by the BCCI's committee, consisting of two retired Tamil Nadu High Court judges, which was originally appointed to look into the allegations of corruption against Chennai Super Kings official Gurunath Meiyappan, and the owner companies of Super Kings and Royals - India Cements and Jaipur IPL Cricket Pvt Ltd.
Royals had suspended the contracts of Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila four days after they were arrested for alleged spot-fixing in May, and also filed a complaint against them with Delhi Police. The players were charged by a Delhi Court under Section 409 of the Indian Penal Code, which deals with criminal breach of trust, following Royals' complaint. In Royals' statement, Barthakur and Iyer indicated that they are co-complainants in the franchise's case against the players: "We are working hard as co-complainants to ensure that all information is made available to the authorities."
*17.00GMT, June 7: The article has been updated after Raj Kundra's statement arrived
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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