IPL spot fixing: Cops moves HC against discharge of accused

New Delhi: After miserably failing in trial court, police yesterday moved the Delhi High Court challenging the clean chit given to all the accused, including India's test discard S Sreesanth and two other cricketers Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan, in the sensational 2013 IPL-6 spot-fixing case.

Ajit Chandila, Ankeet Chavan and S Sreesanth. Pic/PTI
Ajit Chandila, Ankeet Chavan and S Sreesanth. Pic/PTI 

Delhi Police filed an appeal against the trial court's July 25 verdict which said investigators had failed to gather "all necessary ingredients to establish a prima facie case" under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).

The trial court had dropped all charges against 36 accused by holding that the Special Cell of Delhi Police has been unable to establish any "nexus" or link between the accused and crime syndicate allegedly run by underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and his close aid Chhota Shakeel who were declared proclaimed offenders in the case along with one Sandeep.

Three other accused -- Javed Chutani, Salman and Ehtesham -- were Pakistani nationals and never came in the hands of the police. Assailing the verdict, the appeal contended that the trial court had erroneously interpreted the law pertaining to MCOCA and its order was unsustainable.

Delhi Police submitted that the logic and conclusions arrived for discharging the accused was not correct. Further, it said the trial court had erred completely in interpreting the provisions of MCOCA dealing with syndicate crime and the manner in which the issue on framing of charges have been discussed, which needed to be looked into again.

Besides three cricketers who were the part of IPL team Rajasthan Royals and banned for life for their alleged involvement in crime, several bookies were among 36 named in the 6000-page chargesheet. The police had claimed in the charge sheet to have unearthed sufficient evidence to prosecute them for the offence punishable under section 120B (conspiracy) read with 419 (cheating by personation), 420 (cheating) of IPC and under the provisions the stringent MCOCA.

The trial court had disagreed with the Delhi Police for invoking MCOCA and had said, "the best case could have been under Public Gambling Act, but that also is not prima facie established from the evidence placed on record by the prosecution." "The offence of cheating is also not made out prima facie, even if the entire evidence of prosecution is admitted without formal proof," the trial court had added.

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