The Delhi Police’s decision to invoke the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against the former Indian pacer S. Sreesanth, an accused in the IPL spot-fixing scandal, has jolted the cricketer’s friends and relatives who were expecting to see him out on bail on Tuesday.

The invocation of MCOCA effectively dashed Sreesanth’s hope of getting bail and the Delhi court, where he was produced on Tuesday, further extended his judicial custody. Rebecca John, counsel for Sreesanth, minced no words while criticising the Delhi Police’s decision. “MCOCA is a draconian Act, the provisions of which are completely inapplicable to the facts and circumstances of the present case. There is no organised crime involved in this case,” Ms. John told The Hindu over the phone.

She accused the Delhi Police of invoking the provisions of the Act to defeat Sreesanth’s right to get bail. “The Delhi Police’s position in this matter is completely untenable,” the senior Supreme Court lawyer said.

Dipu Santhan, who is in Delhi to handle his brother’s case, was devastated by the development.

Sreesanth’s parents, shocked as they were, spent much time in a temple on Tuesday evening and hence were not available for comment. Jayan Thekkedath, a close friend and a member of the Ernakulam Cricket Club for which the cricketer had played for, who is also in Delhi, alleged that the move was part of a larger design to deny Sreesanth bail.

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