Court rejects police plea seeking two more days of interrogation of former Ranji player Babu Rao Yadav and remanded him to judicial custody

Arrested Indian pacer S. Sreesanth, cricketer Ajit Chandila and two bookies were on Sunday remanded to two more days of police custody by a Delhi court in connection with the IPL spot-fixing scandal case.

Metropolitan Magistrate (MM) Anuj Agagrwal sent Sreesanth, Chandila and two arrested bookies Chandresh Patel and Ashwani alias Tipu to police custody till May 28 after special cell of Delhi Police said their custodial interrogation was required to unearth the entire conspiracy.

The court, however, rejected the police’s plea seeking two more days of interrogation of arrested accused Babu Rao Yadav, a former Ranji player, and remanded him to judicial custody till June 4.

Besides these five accused, cricketer Ankeet Chavan and three more bookies — Jiju Janardhan, Deepak Kumar and Manan Bhat — were also sent to judicial custody till June 4 by the court after the police said they were no more required for any further custodial interrogation.

These nine accused were produced before the court after expiry of their five days of police custody.

Delhi police has so far arrested 19 accused in connection with the spot fixing scandal case. Besides these nine accused, who were produced before the court today, arrested bookie Mohammad Yahya is presently in police custody while other nine accused are in judicial custody till June 4.

During the hearing on Sunday, Sreesanth and Chavan also moved bail applications and the court fixed May 28 for arguments on their plea.

Chavan has sought bail on the ground that his marriage is scheduled on June 2.

Seeking extension of Sreesanth’s police custody by two more days, Public prosecutor Rajiv Mohan said that they need to interrogate him about the whereabouts of one Abhishek Shukla whose name has cropped up during the investigation.

The prosecutor said during interrogation, they have come to know that in one of the intercepted conversations, Shukla had asked someone to clean Sreesanth’s hotel room immediately after the cricketer was arrested.

The prosecutor told the court that Sreesanth has disclosed Shukla’s name and they have also come to know that some of the articles were removed from the cricketers hotel room after he was arrested.

“During Sreesanth’s interrogation, he had disclosed the name of one Abhishek Shukla who was attached to him and in one of the intercepted calls, one person was asked to clean Sreesanth’s room. Some of Sreesanth’s articles were removed from the hotel room where he was staying immediately after his arrest,” Mohan said.

“The articles purchased by Sreesanth with the betting money have been recovered and the bills of the parties given by him were paid by Abhishek Shukla as his (Shukla’s) pan card number was mentioned in the bill,” he said adding they need Sreesanth’s custody to quiz him about Shukla’s whereabouts and his role, if any, in spot-fixing.

Mohan also told the court that police is having the video recording of the match which was allegedly fixed and Sreesanth and Chandila had given the same signals to the bookies which they has fixed earlier.

Advocate Vishal, who appeared for Sreesanth, opposed the police’s plea saying the cricketer has been in their custody for last 10 days and police have nothing more to interrogate.

“They (Delhi Police) just require my (Sreesanth’s) custody to show that they are ahead of Mumbai Police and that is why they are raising such issue,” the lawyer said.

Seeking Chandila’s custody, the police said his name has come up in majority of the conversations between the accused players and bookies and he has played a “widespread role” in the entire conspiracy.

The prosecutor said out of a total of Rs. 70 lakh, police has till now recovered only Rs. 20 lakh and further Chandila’s custody is required to recover the remaining Rs. 50 lakh.

He also said they are yet to receive some details from the Financial Investigation Unit of the Ministry of Finance and they need Chandila’s custody to confront him with the same.

The police also said they have yesterday received some details about Chandila’s bank account and his transactions and they need to confront him with the same.

Chandila’s lawyer opposed the plea saying his client has been falsely implicated and the police is not arresting the main conspirators who are behind the betting scandal.