The Delhi Police was today pulled up for “misleading” and “hiding information” from a court here in the IPL spot-fixing scandal case in which five accused were remanded to judicial custody till June 4.
The court said the police are trying to mislead it and is seeking extension of police custody of two of the five accused without giving any reasonable grounds.
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Lokesh Kumar Sharma said the application of the Delhi Police seeking extension of five days custody of two arrested bookies,Kiran Dole and Sunil Bhatia,have been written in a “very cryptic manner”.
“It becomes very clear that the same (application) has been drafted in a very cryptic manner. Instead of disclosing the facts,it (police) is hiding information from the court.
It is not clear what the agency has been doing with the two accused (Dole and Bhatia) for the past five days,” the CMM said.
“It appears that by prolonging police custody remand,the investigating agency is trying to shield its own lacunae. The application for police custody remand is dismissed and accused are remanded to judicial custody till June 4,” it said.
Besides Dole and Bhatia,the court remanded co-accused — Ramakant Aggarwal,a bookie,Manish Guddewar,a former Ranji player of Vidarbha,and Amit Kumar Singh,a former IPL player associated with the Rajasthan Royals franchise — to judicial custody till June four.
Aggarwal and Singh were produced two days before expiry of their police custody as their interrogation was complete,the police said,adding they did not need further custodial interrogation of Guddewar as well.
After being repeatedly asked by the court about the reason for extension of police custody of Bhatia and Dole,prosecutor Rajiv Mohan said the conspiracy was started by the two and they have to be confronted with the other arrested persons. Mohan said the police have to arrest other co-accused from various places,including Mumbai,Hyderabad,Jaipur and Nagpur,and it need to unearth the whole conspiracy.
The police said they are yet to decode the name of several other persons involved in the scandal and its teams are already stationed at Hyderabad and Mumbai to apprehend others involved in the case.
The argument,however,failed to convince the judge who said “what were you doing for the past five days with these accused if you have not been able to decode the nicknames of other persons involved in the case?.
“The police have not even given the names and addresses of the persons who have been arrested at the instance of these two accused (Bhatia and Dole).”
The court was referring to the nicknames that had cropped up in the conversations between bookies and players involved in the scandal.
During the proceedings,the court also asked the investigating officer to give him the case diary and after going through it,the CMM said “no disclosure statement has been attached to it”.
Opposing the police’ custody plea,the lawyer for Bhatia and Dole said the agency “has not given the list of those who are to be arrested and it does not need to interrogate and recover anything else from my clients”.
Meanwhile,the lawyer for former Ranji player Guddewar moved an application saying the player should be kept in a separate cell in Tihar as lots of sentiments are attached with the game and if he is kept with hardcore criminals,he can be harmed.
The lawyer also said Guddewar belongs to a well-educated and respected family and he has been falsely implicated in the case.
The court,however,dismissed his plea saying the jail manual does not discriminate between undertrial prisoners and there is nothing special about Guddewar if he is a player.
“So what if he belongs to a well-educated and respected family. Lots of educated people are lodged at Tihar jail,” the judge said.
“Jail manual does not discriminate between undertrial prisoners having roots in the society. There is no apprehension of any threat to him. Accordingly,the application is dismissed,” the court added.
Guddewar,Bhatia and Dole,all residents of Nagpur,were arrested from Aurangabad by Delhi police on May 19.
Thereafter,Baburao Yadav,Ranji player for Railways,was also arrested.
On May 16,Sreesanth,and his two Rajasthan Royals teammates Ajit Chandila and Ankit Chavan and eight bookies were arrested from Mumbai by Delhi police on the charge of spot-fixing in IPL matches for payments of upto Rs 60 lakhs just for giving away pre-determined number of runs in an over. Three other bookies were arrested from Delhi on the same
During the proceedings,the prosecutor argued the conspiracy was not hatched in a day and it needs suitable amount of time to collect circumstantial evidence for the same,especially when the allegations of an offence of criminal breach of trust are also required to be investigated.
He also argued winning or losing a game is “an act of God” but these accused,by indulging in betting,have made it “an act of man”.
The court,however,said it was not “impressed” with the submissions of the prosecutor.
The court said it was not mentioned in the application for police custody whether it has the names of those persons who are yet to be arrested in the case and if yes,then what steps it has taken so far to apprehend them.
The CMM also said the police were trying to shield its own “negligence,delay and latches” in the investigation conducted so far as there is not even a single case diary in the file of the investigating officer relating to the probe done by him in respect of bookies Bhatia and Dole.