"I stand by everything that I had said in 2013 and demand that a special investigation team look in to the scam," Sampath Kumar tells TNM.

Stand vindicated IPS officer who exposed IPL betting scam reinstated
news Interview Sunday, March 04, 2018 - 17:44

Four years after his suspension over allegedly taking bribes from bookies accused in the Indian Premier League betting scam, IPS officer G Sampath Kumar has been vindicated. The Tamil Nadu home department has reinstated the officer, after departmental inquiries dismissed charges of corruption against him.

Speaking to TNM, the officer says, "I got the order from the DGP this morning and will be joining duty again in a couple of days. I stand by everything that I had said in 2013 and demand that a special investigation team look in to the scam."

Sampath Kumar was the superintendent of police (SP) of the Q branch of Tamil Nadu police, when he blew the whistle on a case that rocked 2013, forever casting dark shadows on one of cricket's most celebrated tournaments in the country – the IPL. The IPL betting scam as it was monikered, brought to the spotlight the dark underbelly of the game – betting, fixing and cheating.

And if the scam wasn't shocking enough, the people whose shoulders it allegedly rested upon included Gurunath Meiyappan, who was a former Chennai Super Kings (CSK) official and son-in-law of then BCCI president N Srinivasan. Even MS Dhoni, who was the then captain of CSK, was dragged through the mud and his involvement in the scam was insinuated by multiple media houses. When the probe into the matter was widened, the RM Lodha committee suspended India Cements and Jaipur IPL, the owners of the Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals teams, for a period of two years.

But even as fans struggled to digest the news, the man who worked to bring these bigwigs under the scanner – IPS officer G Sampath Kumar – had been suspended for allegedly taking a bribe from one of the bookies.

The CB-CID had taken over the case from the SP and had alleged that during his tenure as investigating officer, he collected bribe from a few bookies to hold back the involvement of people associated with the scam. Following this, he was placed under suspension in February 2014.

This was soon after he deposed before the Justice Mudgal Committee which was probing the issue. He further interacted with the media alleging cover-up by the CB CID in the investigation.

And while he may be joining duty again, the IPS officer will still be facing court proceedings for the case filed by CB-CID in connection with the scam.

"This CB-CID had filed a criminal case against me. That should end within the next 2-3 months. As far as departmental inquiry was concerned – eight charges were for interacting with the media while one was for alleged bribe taking. But once the bribe portion was disproved, the suspension cannot last for talking to the media," says the former SP.

In addition to this, Justice Jeyachandran who was dealing with the IPL betting case, reportedly found cover-up by the CB-CID and ordered further probe. Sampath Kumar, however, did not comment on the alleged cover-up, and said he will not do so as long as the case was under trial.

In a statement he had given shortly after suspension however, the officer had said, “I have witnessed a deliberate and unethical attempt by certain senior level officials to safeguard the interest of the Cartel and were capable of getting things done at administrative level. Only that rotten lot I pointed out. What all I have deposed before the Committee can be corroborated and a professional investigating unit can bring out the facts to light.”

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