British Indian businessman and co-owner of the Indian Premier League (IPL) side Rajasthan Royals, Raj Kundra, has been suspended for life from any cricket activity following an investigation into corruption in the IPL.
London-born Kundra, 39, was barred from participation in cricket alongside former Chennai Super Kings team official Gurunath Meiyappan by the Supreme Court-sanctioned Justice Lodha Committee.
The committee ruled both Meiyappan and Kundra – both of whom were found guilty of illegal betting during IPL 2013 – had “damaged the faith of the people in cricket, the Board of Control for Cricket in India and the IPL”.
The Committee also suspended the Chennai Super Kings from the IPL for a period of two years and recommended the same for the Rajasthan Royals.
Police launched an investigation into Kundra after he was accused in 2013 of betting against his own team and incurring “significant losses”.
Under IPL rules, team owners – Kundra owns 12% of the Royals – can be suspended and the franchise terminated if they are found to have brought the game of cricket into disrepute through activities such as betting.
The London-born magnate, husband of Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty, was also questioned by police after three Royals players were arrested as part of wider investigation into match-fixing in the IPL.
The players had come into contact with bookies.
Under Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and IPL anti-corruption guidelines, team owners are obliged to be aware of interactions between players and unknown individuals.
Information on Kundra came to light during the interrogation of his friend and business associate Umesh Goenka, who is alleged to have tried to obtain information on team tactics and strategy from several Royals players.
Goenka is a partner in Kundra’s Ahmedabad-based metals business and was a visible presence during numerous Royals matches alongside Kundra and wife Shilpa.
Apart from the Rajasthan Royals, Kundra is also a founder and shareholder in the Indian Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Super Fight League and has business interests in Dubai, the Ukraine and East India.