Baburao Yadav, who represented Indian Railways in Ranji Trophy, is yet another cricketer to be arrested by the Delhi Police Special Cell in connection with spot-fixing allegations that rocked the Indian Premier League. The accused allegedly helped suspended Rajasthan Royals player Ajit Chandila strike deals with bookies.
Yadav was produced in a city court on Tuesday along with 14 other accused persons, including S. Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Chandila. While four of the bookies were sent to judicial custody, the court granted five days’ police custody for the others.
Probe into the money trail have revealed that Sreesanth allegedly purchased designer clothes worth Rs. 1.95 lakh and gifted an expensive phone, Blackberry Z10, to his girlfriend. This phone was allegedly bought with the money he made from spot-fixing during the match between Rajasthan Royals and King’s XI Punjab at Mohali on May 9. The phone, being a case property and evidence, has been seized from his girlfriend. “We have documentary evidence to prove that the purchases were made using ill-gotten money,” said a police officer.
The Special Cell has obtained voice samples of nine of the accused, including the three suspended Rajasthan Royals bowlers, for matching them with the recorded phone intercepts. The police said speech recognition would help establish that they had conspired to spot-fix in lieu of illegal gratification. The handwriting samples of the three cricketers have also been taken.
“Sreesanth had been using the phone of his aide Jiju Janardanan, recordings of which we have with us. As part of the probe, Sreesanth was on Monday taken to Marriott Hotel in Jaipur,” said the officer.
Based on a complaint lodged by the Rajasthan Royals management against three of their players, the police have invoked Section 409 (criminal breach of trust) apart from Sections 420 (cheating) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy). The complaint alleges that by indulging in spot-fixing the players had breached the terms of the contracts between the team management and the players, which imposed obligations on them to abide by the guidelines laid down by the International Cricket Council, the Board of Control for Cricket in India and the IPL.
Rajasthan Royals chairman Ranjit Bartahkur also met the Special Cell officers at its Lodhi Road office on Tuesday. The police had earlier said that though at this stage there was no need to approach the team management, if necessary during the course of investigations they would seek clarifications from them.
Earlier on Monday, the police claimed to have seized Rs. 20 lakh in cash from a relative of Chandila at Palwal in Haryana. They hope to make some more recoveries on the basis of purported revelations by the “tainted” cricketers and the bookies. Searches are being carried out at their premises.