MUMBAI: Indian police have arrested the son-in-law of the country's cricket chief in a spot-fixing probe as the government announced on Saturday a new law to crack down on cheating in sport.
Gurunath Meiyappan, part of the management team of Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Chennai Super Kings, was arrested by police in Mumbai late on Friday for allegedly betting on matches in connivance with bookies and a Bollywood actor who is already under arrest.
The development has also led to a clamour for the sacking of Meiyappan's father-in-law, president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) N. Srinavasan, who denied any wrongdoing and vowed to stay on.
"We interrogated (Meiyappan) and based on the information we have, we found his involvement in the offence. We have placed him under arrest," Himanshu Roy, joint commissioner of police, told reporters.
Meiyappan appeared in court on Saturday and was remanded in police custody for four days.
Reports in local newspapers said Meiyappan had placed bets on IPL matches through actor Vindu Dara Singh Randhawa, who was taken into custody earlier this week.
A statement from India Cements, owners of the Chennai franchise, sought to downplay Meiyappan's role within the team.
"Gurunath is only one of the members (honorary) of the management team of Chennai Super Kings. India Cements follows a zero tolerance policy and if anyone is proved guilty, strict action will be taken immediately," the statement said.
Meiyappan had in the past been referred to as the chief executive of the team and actively participated in players' auctions.
His arrest led to calls for the sacking of Srinivasan, who is also the managing director of India Cements, for holding offices which have a conflict of interest.
"With this scandal breaking out and all the evidence emerging, his position has become untenable. He should go," India's Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath told reporters in New Delhi.
Srinavasan, however, insisted he was going nowhere. "I had no knowledge about Gurunath's involvement. Everybody knows that I hardly watch a game, everyone knows that I do not go to CSK's games," he told the NDTV channel.
"I have no intention to resign. I can't be bulldozed or railroaded into resigning," he added.
The Indian government later on Saturday announced a new law to crack down on unfair practices in sport.
"The government of India has decided to enact a standalone legislation to deal with unfair practices in sport. The government is committed to bring this law as soon as possible," Law Minister Kapil Sibal told reporters in New Delhi.
Sibal said the new legislation would deal with dishonest practices such as spot-fixing, adding: "We cannot let down millions of fans out there for whom cricket is a passion. "But the new law will not apply to cricket alone. It will apply to all sports in which unfair practices are being used to change the outcome or course of a game."
Sibal did not specify what punishments would be handed out but said the legislation would define what constitutes criminal acts in sport.
The spot-fixing scandal, which has caused outrage among fans, began when police arrested Test paceman Shanthakumaran Sreesanth and two of his Rajasthan Royals teammates on May 16.
The trio, who deny any wrongdoing, are accused of deliberately bowling badly in exchange for tens of thousands of dollars after striking deals with bookies.
The Chennai Super Kings, led by India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, have made it to the final of this year's tournament, to be played on Sunday.