A city court on Monday granted bail to suspended Rajasthan Royals spinner Ajit Chandila and two others accused in the IPL spot fixing case, while pulling up the special cell of the Delhi police for the lacunae in their investigation into the scam.
The 33-page order quelled allegations that the stringent provisions of Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act (MCOCA) had been improperly invoked in this case.
The court held that case fell under MCOCA since the evidence showed a nexus between five of the accused and the organized crime syndicate headed by underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.
The five accused bookies —Ashwani Agarwal, Ramesh Vyas, Firoz Ansari, Sunil Bhatia and Jitender Jain—were denied bail on Monday. The bail of another bookie, Chandresh Jain was reserved on grounds that investigation against him was not yet complete.
However, additional sessions judge Sharma released Chandila, ex-Ranji player Baburao Yadav and punter Deepak Kumar on bail, citing that their connection to this organized crime syndicate was “remote”.
Unhappy with the over 6,000-page-chargesheet submitted by the police, Sharma remarked that there were “vital links” missing in their investigation. “Special cell of Delhi police has a lot of explaining to do,” the order mentioned stating that despite accused being in police custody, the investigation was not backed by any “worthwhile evidence”. Condemning the “pick and choose policy” of the special cell, the court directed the entire case to be re-examined by the Delhi police commissioner.
The court also took note of the lack of co-ordination between the Mumbai police and the special cell in the probe into the IPL scam. Of the five bookies in custody, two of them had been arrested by Mumbai police and hence the special cell of Delhi police was yet to get custody of the phone records and other evidence from them.
The order asked the investigation to be carried out with “active co-operation” from Mumbai police, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence and other agencies.
The 21 of the 40 accused in the case are on bail. After submitting the chargesheet in the case on July 30, the prosecution has moved for the cancellation of bail of the 21 accused, which includes IPL players S Sreesanth and Ankeet Chavan. The court shall hear the arguments on the cancellation of bail on October 7.
The order acknowledged the delay in disposing the bail application by stating that “any further delay would entail hardship upon