Dawood Ibrahim, Chhota Shakeel, S Sreesanth. These were the accused named in the chargesheet filed by Delhi Police in the Indian Premier League VI spot fixing scandal yesterday.
It shows the depths to which Sreesanth’s reputation has plunged ever since the Delhi cops’ revelations on May 16 that he was amongst the cricketers involved in spot fixing. The disgraced India paceman was featured as accused No 10 in the chargesheet.
And for sports lovers across the world, the irony was hard to miss. After all, the number 10 resonates with sporting excellence across disciplines. No sooner than one thinks of this number, than images of players like Sachin Tendulkar, Pele, Diego Maradona, Zinadine Zidane and Lionel Messi begin inhabiting the mind.
Meanwhile, the formal set of charges, running into 6,000 pages, were filed before Additional Sessions Judge Vinay Kumar Khanna. The chargesheet also named cricketers Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan among the 39 accused.
The accused have been charged with offences of cheating and conspiracy under sections of the Indian Penal Code and provisions of the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).
Rajasthan Royals captain Rahul Dravid and player Harmeet Singh have been made prosecution witnesses in the case. Sreesanth, Chandila and Chavan were arrested in May on the basis of phone conversations and footage of IPL matches in which they were caught giving predetermined signals to bookies.
The three players of Rajasthan Royals, along with 11 bookies, were arrested from Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Delhi in May. Another 15 people were arrested from different parts of the country later.
Till now, 29 people had been arrested in the IPL spot fixing case. Twenty-one of them are on bail, while eight are in judicial custody. Ten accused are still absconding. Twenty-one accused in the case, including Sreesanth and Chavan, have been granted bail by court, while the others, including Chandila, are in judicial custody.
Police have also moved court for the cancellation of bail granted to Sreesanth, Chavan and 19 others. The court had also issued non-bailable warrants against Dawood and Chhota Shakeel.
Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar earlier said that he would like the charge sheet in the spot fixing case to be filed before he hangs up his boots on July 31.