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IPL-6 scandal: Court questions 'match fixing' theory of police

New Delhi: The investigation by Delhi Police in IPL-6 spot-fixing scandal case yesterday came under close scrutiny of a local court which questioned its theory of 'match fixing' saying there was prima facie no evidence which showed that matches were fixed by the arrested accused.

"The (telephonic) conversations (among arrested accused) which you (police) are citing does not at all show that there was any ingredient of match-fixing. It only pertains to betting. There is no reference to match-fixing," Additional Sessions Judge Neena Bansal Krishna told the police.

"Is betting per se an offence?", the judge also asked special public prosecutor Rajiv Mohan while hearing arguments on framing of charges. Responding to the court's query, Mohan said "betting per se is illegal but it is not an offence". To this, the judge asked "under which provision, betting is illegal? Under which criminal law, betting is an illegal activity?"

The prosecutor responded "it is illegal activity in civil law and not under the criminal law". During the arguments on framing of charges, Mohan referred to the telephonic conversations among the accused saying they were involved in match-fixing and betting. He said that call detail records (CDRs) clearly reflect the linkage of the accused persons who were part of a crime syndicate to generate money.

To this, the court observed "whatever you (prosecutor) are saying may be 100 per cent true, but please show me the evidence." After hearing the arguments, the court fixed the matter for further proceedings on May 8. Earlier, the Special Cell of Delhi Police had chargesheeted suspended cricketers S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila, Ankeet Chavan and others, including underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and his aide Chhota Shakeel, in the case.

The court had earlier declared Dawood and Shakeel as proclaimed offenders as they are evading arrest in the matter. The police had told the court that properties of Dawood and Shakeel in Mumbai have already been attached in connection with the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case and upon inquiry, it was revealed that they have not visited India since 1993.

It had submitted that Dawood had properties in his name at Dongri in Mumbai whereas Shakeel owned property in Nagpada there. The court had earlier issued NBWs against Dawood and Shakeel, Pakistan-based Javed Chutani, Salman alias Master and Ehteysham, who all are considered to be Dawood's associates. The police had filed a 6,000-page charge sheet against the accused in the case. It had also filed supplementary charge sheet later on.

The court had on June 10, last year granted bail to Sreesanth, Chavan and 19 others for lack of evidence against them under the provisions of stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA). Other accused, including Chandila, were also granted bail later on by the court. The police, in its charge sheet, had claimed that Dawood and Shakeel, who have been "controlling the fixing and betting market" in cricket in India, were behind IPL spot-fixing.

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