Raj Kundra
Raj Kundra (AFP Photo)

IPL corruption scandal’s lead investigator BB Misra has revealed that former Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra had met with a bookie at least twice but initially misled the investigation by denying any contact.

After being confronted about the bookie’s version, Kundra accepted that he was indeed in touch with the aforementioned bookie and even accepted a gift from him.

“When Kundra was interrogated, he had initially denied everything,” The Indian Express quoted Misra as saying on Saturday. “Then we confronted him with the version we got from the bookie. It was then that he admitted he was in touch (with the bookie). He (Kundra) had taken a gift from the bookie,” he said.

Kundra denied knowing the bookie but had his number saved on his cellphone. He claimed that it was part of a precautionary measure so that if the bookie calls him, he would ignore it.

“He (Kundra) said he did not know the bookie. But his mobile had the number of that bookie. He explained that it was an undesirable contact and he had to store it so if a call comes he will know that it is a bookie and he would not pick it up. Fair enough…but then he would not have accepted a gift. When you say he is an undesirable contact and ‘I don’t want to talk to him’, why did you accept a gift from him? Why did you allow him to come near you? This was a contradiction. So I reminded Raj Kundra of the gift he took,” Misra said.

Misra was appointed by the Supreme Court to investigate IPL corruption probe after Justice Mudgal, in a sealed envelope, submitted names of suspected individuals to the apex court. He was asked to focus on four officials from the 13 names of which nine were players.

“Whatever he told the Justice Mudgal committee initially turned out to be false,” Mirsa claimed. “I am repeatedly saying that he may not have used the bookie for cricket or any betting or maybe he was not passing on information. But the fact remains that he was in contact with a bookie. He was misleading the committee. To be in touch with a bookie, by itself was incorrect.”

Misra had earlier said that a member of India’s 2011 World Cup winning squad was in contact with a bookie in the lead up to a match in the 2008-09 season. He also claimed that there was a nexus between agents running player-management companies and senior cricketers who have stakes in them.

On his part, Kundra has claimed innocence saying even though the bookie came to meet him twice and he refused to entertain him on both the occasions. Once he met him ay a friend’s party and then the other time, the bookie came to his house with a gold-chain for his new-born.

“I had no idea this person was a bookie as it’s not written on anyone’s face. I met him first at a friend’s party. He piled on and was over-friendly and asked for IPL tickets for his son, which my bodyguard gave him. Once he turned up at my house with panjiri (sweet) and a gold chain for my new-born. I told him I was on my way out and didn’t even entertain him. I declined but he left the panjiri and chain with my watchman. I never had any dealings with this person, other than on these two occasions,” Kundra was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.