CB-CID says custodial interrogation of Vikram Agarwal necessary

Mobile phone call details of a person involved in the IPL betting case have revealed that Chennai-based hotelier Vikram Agarwal has contacted him when IPL matches were on.

He frequently contacted Kitty alias Uttam C. Jain, who was arrested on May 23. This submission was made by the Tamil Nadu Crime Branch CID in the Madras High Court on Wednesday in its reply to a petition by Mr. Agarwal seeking anticipatory bail.

The case invokes provisions relating to criminal conspiracy and cheating, Sections of the Tamil Nadu Gaming Act and the Chennai City Police Act.

When the bail plea came up before Justice C.T. Selvam, Mr. Agarwal’s counsel said his client was “illegally detained” by the CB CID for two days and that he was released only on Tuesday evening.

The petitioner submitted that he was falsely implicated in the case. The summons issued to him on May 23 was for his appearance as a witness. Without following the legal procedure, the police intended to arrest him.

Deputy Superintendent of Police, CB CID, N. Venkataraman said 10 persons were arrested in the case.

Cash totalling Rs.14.39 lakh, communication devices and computers were seized. Investigation revealed that there was a conspiracy by the accused to cheat the public in the form of illegal betting.

False information

They spread false information among the public about cricket players and made them believe that bookies already knew the match result. Thereby they lured the public to bet money.

Kitty’s interrogation revealed that he was present on the petitioner’s premises when the offence was committed. The cellphone tower analysis of the location of the petitioner strengthened the police case about his participation in the offence.

The custodial interrogation of Mr. Agarwal was necessary.

Summons was issued to the petitioner to appear for enquiry in the CB CID headquarters here on May 30.

Mr. Agarwal’s counsel said he was not a bookie. The offences alleged against him were bailable.

When the police themselves had granted seven days time for the petitioner to appear for enquiry, where was the need for his custodial interrogation, counsel asked. The Tamil Nadu Gaming Act was applicable to the rest of the State and not Chennai. The petitioner was a resident of the city and the game was played here. So that law was not applicable to him.

Mr. Agarwal also sought anticipatory bail in the case registered by the police in Mumbai for alleged offences of conspiracy and cheating and under the Bombay Prevention of Gambling Act. The police were taking steps to apprehend him in Chennai.

He intended to file necessary application before the appropriate court in Mumbai and defend his liberty. Unless sufficient time was granted to him for the purpose, he would be arrested. Hence the present plea.

The hearing was adjourned to Thursday.

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