A court in Mumbai had in January issued a warrant for the arrest of bookie Sonu Jalan in a five-year-old case of betting on Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket matches. The Mumbai Police Crime Branch however, did not execute the warrant and Jalan was arrested by the Thane Police last week.
Jalan was arrested by the Thane Police last Tuesday, two days after the end of the most recent season of the IPL, on charges of betting on matches and allegedly fixing matches on instructions of fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim.
In May 2012, Jalan and fellow bookie Devendra Kothari were arrested in a raid in Kandivali by the Mumbai Police Crime Branch. At the time, the police claimed that the duo had been placing bets on a match between the Kings XI Punjab and the Chennai Super Kings during that year’s edition of the IPL. The crime branch had also subsequently arrested two other alleged bookies, Firoz Ansari of Nagpada and Mohammad Mohsin Shaikh of Dockyard Road.
A chargesheet was later filed against the men by the crime branch at the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate’s court in CST. A trial against the men is yet to begin in the CMM court and between January 2013 and May 2018 there have only been 21 hearings in the case, and no significant business has taken place, court records show.
When the court heard the case on January 10, it issued a non-bailable warrant for the arrest of Jalan as he did not attend court during previous hearings. The crime branch was instructed to produce Jalan in court during the next hearing on May 7. Court records show that none of the accused was present for that hearing. Kothari, Ansari and Shaikh had been exempted from appearing in court, records show. However, the crime branch said executing the warrant against Jalan was not top priority. “Warrants issued in sessions cases where the trials have begun are top priority for us. This is a minor case where the trial has not even begun. The court has issued a standing warrant against Jalan and not set a deadline for his production,” said a senior crime branch official.
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