IPL spot fixing: Dawood named suspect; Sreesanth, teammates face MCOCA charges
Cops today said that mafia dons Dawood and Chhota Shakeel are prime suspects in the IPL spot fixing scandal and the duo would be named in the chargesheet. Delhi Police also invoked the stringent MCOCA against suspended cricketer Sreesanth and 22 others in the case.
"Dawood and Chhota Shakeel are the prime suspects. We will name them when we file the chargesheet in the case six months from now," a police official said.
Earlier, Maharashtra Police had charged tainted Rajasthan Royals players S. Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) for their involvement in spot fixing in the IPL.
Following this, a Delhi court remanded Sreesanth, another player Ajit Chandila and the others to further judicial custody till June 18.
"Since the accused persons were acting on command of people based abroad like Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar and Chota Shakeel who have a continuous past record of organised crimes, provisions of Maharasthra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) have been invoked against the accused," police told Additional Sessions Judge Sanjiv Jain.
The court, in its order, referred to the approval granted by Joint Commissioner of Police Special Cell for invoking section 3 and 4 of MCOCA and also a report citing reasons for the same.
"It has been stated that the approval for invoking MCOCA has been accorded by Jt CP special cell on the premise that the arrested persons/ accused through extensive use of electronic and via media were in communication with each other and with their other associates, who are still absconding, including those associates who are based abroad.
"The illegal organised betting syndicate in India is being controlled by persons based abroad. The arrested accused persons have been found playing role of conspirators while others have been found acting as facilitators," the court quoted from the report. This organised crime syndicate besides controlling illegal betting was indulging in fixing performance of players and also the rates of betting," police told the court.
Prosecution also told the court that they have 'concrete' evidence like intercepted telephonic conversations to link Sreesanth and some others with D-company. The defence counsel vehemently opposed invocation of MCOCA saying the police has to show that the accused were involved in continuing unlawful activity and claimed that not everything can be connected to D-company and brought under MCOCA.
Sreesanth's counsel Vishal Gosain and the cricketer's friend and alleged bookie Jiju Janardhan's counsel Pawan Narang said MCOCCA is totally unjustified and has been slapped only to stop their clients from getting bail as some other accused -- Vindoo Dara Singh and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) principal Gurunath Meiyappan, were given bail by a Mumbai court.
Advocate D P Singh, appearing for bookie Chandresh Patel, said, "The players cannot be said to be running organised crime syndicate."
The three cricketers were arrested May 16 in Mumbai by Delhi Police for their alleged involvement in spot fixing in IPL matches for payments up to Rs 60 lakh each for giving away pre-determined number of runs in an over.
The Rajasthan team owners have lodged a criminal complaint against the players while the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has suspended them.
Delhi Police have arrested 26 people in connection with the IPL scandal. Of these, 18 have been sent to judicial custody, including the Rajasthan Royals' players.
Chavan was granted interim bail May 30 by a Delhi court to get married June 2.