Published: Thursday, July 27, 2000, 18:23 [IST]
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Why are you after the cricketers when there are other more serious crimes being committed?

It is because cricket excites me. I agree that drug smuggling and narcotics business is more serious, but it does not excite me. After all, I am a human being. I cannot help it. My driver and my domestic help, for instance, are as much involved in cricket as any other fan.

Match-fixing has deprived us of enjoyment. I can see cricket going into hibernation. The Supreme Court has passed a judgment that says that betting is legal where application of the mind is involved - like playing rummy with money.

Betting is an inherent part of a human being. The government should make betting legal, licenses should be issued, and cheques should be used in transactions. Why should a man not be allowed to exhibit his genius?

Did you actually mention Mohammed Azharuddin's name in the interview with tehelka.com?

At that time (when news broke out about VDIS disclosure), the press was chasing me. I just said it could be anybody. But, if you visit the tehelka site now, you will see they that have removed my portion of the documentary film (clandestinely shot by Manoj Prabhakar and others).

It is unfair journalism. I have lodged an FIR with the Vasant Kunj police station. The DCP is sending the film to lab for a test.

What is your future? When are going to return to office?

I don't know. I was suspended for indiscipline, but no reason was given. Interestingly, I was suspended while I was on leave. I was not well then and was at home.

I am still waiting for the show cause letter (laughs). Once I get it, I will be able to explain my version. Probably, they fear they would get a strong reply.

Are you publicity hungry?

For anything to change, there has to be a controversy. Take the old Hindu ritual of sati for instance. When someone had wanted it to be abolished, he must have been opposed.

Debate is necessary in India. My job is not to collect taxes only. I am a free citizen of India. I can speak my mind. And if you see my record, I would be surprised if it is short of outstanding.

And when I was suspended, I was due for promotion. It (the suspension) is a malicious, sinister move.

Are your colleagues supporting you?

Yes, they all are very supportive. They are all with me, but unfortunately cannot go on strike (in support) because the Law prohibits them. If they go on strike people will be very happy (laughs).

India Abroad News Service

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