Arrested in 2011 for human trafficking, BCCI pays tainted Jacob Martin one-time grant

BCCI withheld monetary grants to tainted cricketers S Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila, but has made a one-time grant to another tainted former India cricketer Jacob Martin

New Delhi: Accused of spot-fixing during IPL 2013, tainted cricketers S Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila's monetary grants have been withheld by the BCCI, which has applied a different yardstick for another tainted former India cricketer Jacob Martin. 

Martin was arrested in Delhi on April 27, 2011 on charges of human trafficking after he had a formed a bogus cricket team and send one Nimesh Kumar to the United Kingdom by obtaining visa through fraudulent means. He was later released on bail but the case is still pending against Martin.

Jacob Martin was arrested in 2011 on charge of human traffickingJacob Martin at New Delhi Police Headquarters after being arrested in connection with a human trafficking case in 2011. Pic/Imtiyaz Khan

According to BCCI's website where the payment or one-time grant of former cricketers have been recorded, Martin's name in the beneficiary list is at No 118. The former Baroda right-hander, who played 10 ODIs, has been paid Rs 30 lakh by the BCCI.

Martin's payment again came into prominence as at the start of this month, a Delhi Court dismissed his plea challenging framing of charges against him in that particular case.

On December 1, 2015, the additional Sessions Judge Vinod Kumar dismissed a revision petition filed by Martin against a magisterial court's order framing charges for alleged offences of cheating and criminal conspiracy against him. 

"Even if the documentary evidence has been weeded out as already discussed, the statements of aforesaid witnesses  of police) are enough to frame charge against the revisionist (Martin). What is the worth of these statements, can only be seen during the trial.

"However, I am of the opinion that the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate has rightly framed the charge against the revisionist and I find no infirmity in the impugned order and the charge," the judge said while dismissing his plea. 

In fact, Martin's payment was cleared by the last finance committee and one of its member said that they had no clue about Martin's arrest.

"Look, we were finance committee members. It is BCCI's duty to do all the checks & balances. He had played 138 first-class matches and qualified for the payment. As far as police case is concerned, BCCI officials in charge should have informed us. His payment was passed as no one even raised a question," a member of the erstwhile finance committee told PTI.

In fact, questions are being raised that if Sreesanth and Chavan are not being paid for corrupting the game, how did Martin get away before clearing his name in the case. 

The police had opposed Martin's plea in the sessions court contending that while framing charges, the magisterial court had referred to statements of various prosecution witnesses which prima facie established that Martin had floated a bogus cricket club and obtained visa for co-accused Nimesh Kumar Manubhai as a team member. 

Martin's counsel has told the court that in 2003, his client became a part of the Vadodara-based club which toured the United Kingdom for friendly cricket matches with the local English cricket clubs.

He argued that in September 2003, Martin took a team of cricketers to the UK and Patel was one of the members of the team. The lawyer told the court that Martin had returned to India within the validity period of his VISA but later, it transpired that in August 2004, Patel had travelled to London and allegedly overstayed there after which he was deported back to India in December 2004.

He said that after Patel had returned to the Indira Gandhi International airport here, a complaint was lodged against him alleging that the home stamp of UK affixed in his passport appeared to be counterfeit.

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