Players Involved

CBI Match Fixing Report

AJAY JADEJA

Ajay Jadeja stated that he knew Rajesh Kalra and Kishan Kumar since they regularly come to the gym at Hotel Park Royal which is also frequented by Jadeja. He denied any knowledge about their being punters. On being asked about Rattan Mehta was a very good friend and had known him for the past many years. He also stated that he had gone to his restaurant many times and maintained close contacts with Rattan Mehta.  

When asked whether he knew that Rattan Mehta was also involved in betting and match-fixing, he stated that he had no knowledge of such activities and also never bothered to find out. On being asked whether he knew that Rattan Mehta's sister Mona Mehta was arrested for betting on cricket matches during the World Cup, 1999 by Delhi police, he stated that he had not heard of such an incident. On being asked whether he knew Mukesh Kumar Gupta @ M K, he stated that he had never met him but all that he knew was that M K stayed next to Nikhil Chopra's house in Defence Colony. He also denied that he went to Mukesh Gupta's house at Defence Colony along with a girl and Ajay Sharma sometime in 1996. He, however, stated that since he met so many people he cannot remember all of them. He stated that he did not remember whether he received Rs 50, 000 from M K.

On being asked whether he was involved in match-fixing with Mohd. Azharuddin, he denied the same. On being asked whether he knew Uttam Chand, a bookie/ punter of Chennai, he stated that he did not know him. On being confronted with Uttam Chand's cell phone printout, which disclosed very frequent telephonic contact between both of them just before or during cricket matches, he stated that he recognised Uttam Chand's cell phone number but knew him as 'Gupta'. He did not know how Uttam Chand got his telephone number. Jadeja stated that Uttam Chand used to ring him up often and tell him that if he did not talk to him, he would run into bad luck and because of superstition, he used to return his call.

On being asked whether he knew that Uttam Chand was a bookie, he stated that he had an inkling to that effect due to the nature of conversation Uttam Chand used to have with him. On being asked why he did not discontinue his association with Uttam Chand after that, he said that he could not explain this. Ajay Jadeja also denied that he provided any information to Uttam Chand about cricket matches and denied receiving any money from Uttam Chand. Finally, on being asked about his association with persons like Rajesh Kalra, Kishan Kumar, Rattan Mehta and Uttam Chand who are all bookies/ punters, Jadeja stated that he did not want to discuss these things. He merely said that he had made certain mistakes in his career and was ready to pay the price for it.

   

ANALYSIS OF EVIDENCE
 
(Detailed discussion of evidence (oral and documentary) against player)

Ajay Jadeja has close relations with a number of bookies/punters, including Rajesh Kalra, Rattan Mehta, Uttam Chand, Krishan Kumar (implicated in the Hansie Cronje case) and Ajay Gupta. He has also given "judgement" and information" regarding cricket matches to Uttam Chand and Rattan Mehta. It has emerged in the enquiry that Jadeja met MK in 1996 and offered to "do" matches for him. As he could not promise the help of other players except one, the deal did not materialise.

Both MK Gupta and Uttam Chand have stated that they paid money to Ajay Jadeja. At the insistence of MK, Ajay Sharma introduced Ajay Jadeja to MK in 1996. MK has stated that Jadeja came to his house along with Ajay Sharma and a girl and offered to "do" matches for him. However, no deal could be struck as Jadeja was only offering his services along with those of Mongia. MK has further stated that he paid a sum of Rs. 50,000/- during this meeting. Ajay Sharma has corroborated the statement of MK and has further stated that of the Rs. 50,000/- paid by MK, Jadeja kept Rs. 32,000/- himself to purchase a cell phone and gave remaining Rs. 18000/- to him.

On the other hand, Jadeja has state that he does not remember meeting ML, since he had met so many people in his life. He has also denied having received Rs. 50,000/- from MK. Anil Steel, a bookie form Bonbay has also stated that he once saw Jadeja in the hotel room of MK in Calcutta during the inaugural ceremony of the World Cup Cricket, 1996. During the enquiry, a print-out of the cell phone number 98100 34882 of Jadeja for the period from 15.9.99 to 30.4.2000 was taken and studied.

A scrutiny of the print-out has disclosed that Jadeja had made and received tele calls in varying numbers from and to Rajesh Kalra, a punter, rattan Mehta, a big time punter and Krishan Kumar (implicated in the Hansie Cronje case). When questioned about these contacts, Jadeja stated that he knew Kalra as they visited the same Gym at Hotel Park Royal. Jadeja, however, denied that he ever discussed cricket with Kalra or passed on any info about cricket matches to him.

Jadeja accepts that he knows Krishan Kumar, but he did not have any knowledge that he was a punter. He admits that he is very close to Rattan Mehta but denies that he knew Rattan Mehta was a big-time punter. Jadeja has specifically denied that he fixed matches for Rattan Mehta. Rattan in his examination supported the statement of Jadeja about being close to him and admitted taking Jadeja's 'judgement' on certain matches. It is, however, difficult to accept Jadeja's statement that he did not know that Rattan was a big time punter, given his accepted closeness to Rattan Mehta.

Jadeja's statement is further suspect in the light of the statement of Pawan Puri, a punter of on a flight from Mumbai to Delhi during which they discussed cricket matches and Jadeja had at that time told him that he had "done" matches for rattan Mehta during the India, 'India-A and India -B, Challenger Trophy in Feb, 2000. (Ajay Jadeja was the Captain of Indai- B Team which lost both matches.) Azhar, during his examination, stated that in the Titan Cup Series in 1996, he had "made" matches for MK and that Jadeja and Mongia wre also involved with him.

In his statement, Dr. Ali Irani has also stated that he had absolutely no doubt about the involvement of Jadeja with Azhar, and that in 1996, during a one-day match, Jadeja had also told him not to talk about "such thing" to him as he was no longer onto it. Dr Ali Irani has further stated that he suspected that Ajay Jadeja made this statement to him, because by that time Jadeja probably knew that Azharuddin had confided to him (Dr Ali Irani) about match-fixing.

Another major bookie/punter Uttam Chand, during his examination, has stated that he used to get "information" regarding various aspects of the match from Jadeja in matches in which India was playing. On the basis of information provided by Jadeja, he used to further place bets.

Uttam Chand has also disclosed that he paid a sum of Rs 1 lakh initially at the time when he was introduced to Ajay Jadeja at a function in Hotel Chola Sheraton in Chennai, and later he paid a sum of Rs 5 lakhs through "hawala" transfer when Ajay Jadeja was in Mumbai during a match. Ajay Jadeja has denied that he received any money from Uttam Chand. He has also stated that initially he only thought that Uttam Chand was his "fan" and used to talk to him in order to avoid the nuisance of continuous calls from him. Jadeja has further stated that, after some time, he did get an inkling that Uttam Chand was a bookie. On being asked as to why he continued talking to Uttam Chand even after coming to know that he was a bookie, Jadeja could not provide a satisfactory answer.

The assertion of Jadeja that often he would talk to Uttam Chand only to get rid of the nuisance of continuous telephone calls is difficult to accept, as Jadeja could very easily have firmly told Uttam Chand not to ring him up. He could also have declined to take any calls from Uttam Chand. On the contrary, he not only accepted calls from Uttam Chand and talked to him for minutes, but also, on occasions, returned the call of Uttam Chand. The timings of the call between Uttam Chand and Jadeja also suggest great familiarity between the two as there have been a number of calls around midnight. It seems peculiar as to why Jadeja should be talking to a bookie/punter around midnight, specially when he is scheduled to play a match the next morning.

It is also of interest that Uttam Chand and Jadeja have spoken to each other, only a day prior to a match or on the day of the match. There have been no calls between them during a gap between two series or even during a gap in matches during a particular series. The connection between Uttam Chand and Jadeja is, therefore, not innocent. The connection between the two becomes further suspect as telephone calls in the print-out of Uttam Chand's cell phone no 98400 37700 show that on occasions after talking to Jadeja he has spoken to well-known bookies such as Shobhan Mehta of Mumbai and Hans Kumar Jain of Delhi, etc.

A random sample of cell phone calls between Jadeja and Uttam Chand are reproduced below as an illustration. Many of the calls made by Uttam Chand to Jadeja are of short duration and these are probably messages left in the voice mail:

1. 10.101999 - 2 calls from Uttam Chand to Jadeja. They were made on the first day of 1st Test Match between India and New Zealand at Mohali.

2. 11.10.1999 - 8 calls from Uttam Chand to Jadeja. These were made on the 2nd day of the Mohali Test Match.

3. 12.10.1999 - 23 calls from Uttam Chand on the third day of the Test Match.

4. 13.10.1999 - 46 calls from Uttam Chand on the fourth day of the Test Match.

5. 14.10.1999 - 46 calls from Uttam Chand on the last day of the Mohali Test Match.

6. 28.10.1999 - 24 calls from Uttam Chand. This was one day prior to the Third Test Match between India-New Zealand at Ahmedabad.

7. 29.10.1999 - 13 calls from Uttam Chand. This was the first day of the 3rd Test Match.

8. 30.10.1999 - 62 calls from Uttam Chand on the 2nd day of the Test Match.

9. 31.10.1999 - 30 calls from Uttam Chand. This was the third day of the Test Match.

10. 01.11.1999 - 50 calls from Uttam Chand on the 4th day of the Test Match.

11. 02.11.1999 - 14 calls from Uttam Chand on the last day of the Test Match.

12. 13.11.1999 - 48 calls from Uttam Chand to Jadeja and 1 call from Jadeja to Uttam Chand. This was one day prior to the India-New Zealand one-dayer at Guwahati.

13. 14.11.1999 - 5 calls from Uttam Chand on the day of Guwahati one-dayer.

14. 16.11.1999 - 55 calls from Uttam Chand to Jadeja and 1 from Jadeja to Uttam Chand one day prior to the 5th one-dayer between India and New Zealand at Delhi.

15. 11.3.2000 - Uttam Chand has made 28 calls. This was one day prior to the one-dayer between India-South Africa at Jamshedpur.

16. 12.3.2000 - Uttam Chand has made 3 calls on the day of the Jamshedpur one-dayer.

The evidence against Ajay Jadeja clearly establishes that he has been close to a number of bookies/punters and has provided them "information" about cricket matches on payment of money. However, it has to be surmised that no bookie/punter will pay money for "information", which is very easily available on television and the word is used as a subterfuge for underperforming and match-fixing.

Ajay Jadeja was extremely intransigent during his examination, and, even when confronted with evidence, issued bland denials.  

 

 

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