Explained: The hullabaloo over the Mahadev App that dragged Ranbir Kapoor to the ED office

Explained: The hullabaloo over the Mahadev App that dragged Ranbir Kapoor to the ED office
  • The ED issued a summons for popular Hindi film actor Ranbir Kapoor a month back while investigating the Mahadev App case.
  • The investigation started after a lavish wedding in UAE budgeted at Rs 250 crore drew the ED’s attention.
  • BJP and Congress are trading allegations regarding the app’s ban timing.

The Mahadev App, a live betting platform, promoted by Ravi Uppal and Sourabh Chandrakar has allegedly earned Rs 5,000 crore through a scam. The Directorate of Enforcement or ED says that the grand Rs 250-crore wedding of Sourabh Chandrakar in the United Arab Emirates prompted an investigation.

The alleged scam has drawn in popular Hindi film actor, Ranbir Kapoor who has also been questioned in this investigation. Additionally, the BJP and the Congress are locked in a war of political allegations over this matter as the Chhattisgarh election draws near. Here is what we know so far about this multifaceted case.

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Why is Mahadev betting app back in news?

The Indian central government has imposed blocking orders against 22 illegal betting apps and websites, including platforms like Mahadev Book Online and Reddyannaprestopro after an investigation into the Mahadev App.

So, what does the Mahadev app do?

The Mahadev Book App, before getting banned, provided a platform for betting on live games such as cricket, football, tennis, poker, etc. in India. It functioned through several websites and allowed betting advertisements.

Why was Ranbir Kapoor questioned?

While investigating the case, the ED issued a summons for popular Hindi film actor Ranbir Kapoor on October 6.

The ED probe into the Mahadev app showed that Ranbir Kapoor was paid by the application promoters for endorsing their gaming platform. Allegedly, the payment made to Ranbir Kapoor could have come from the proceeds of the crime. Thus, the Bollywood star was asked to come before investigating authorities.

Politics over Mahadev: The BJP vs Cong war of words

Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar did not send any request to block these platforms despite having powers to do so alleges the Chhattisgarh government.

However, in a post on social media platform X (earlier known as Twitter), Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh said, "ED has been investigating the 'Mahadev App' case for several months. Still, it is surprising that it took so much time to ban it."

He claimed that the demand to ban Mahadev App was also first made by Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on August 24.

What is the accusation against CM Baghel?

The BJP has accused the state chief minister of being in the know about the scam.

The BJP's IT Cell chief Amit Malviya has further claimed that the betting app ran under the patronage of "Bhupesh Baghel's police", adding that several police officers also "collaborated" in the scam.

What has the ED said about the investigation?

The Enforcement Directorate said a person, identified as Asim Das, was sent from the UAE to deliver a large amount of cash for the election expenses of the ruling Congress in Chhattisgarh.

The ED has also claimed Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel was paid Rs 508 crore by the promoters of the Mahadev betting app.