Intercept of a call, purportedly between Dawood and an aide, is a crucial part of the evidence
The Delhi Police on Tuesday filed a 5,000-page charge sheet in the Indian Premier League spot-fixing case against top fugitive Dawood Ibrahim, his close aides, three suspended Rajasthan Royals players, including S. Sreesanth, and suspected bookies. Of the 39 accused named in the final report, the police have so far made 29 arrests.
The charge sheet — under Section 420 (cheating) read with Section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code, besides various provisions of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (Mcoca) — was filed before Additional Sessions Judge Vinay Kumar Khanna. IPC Section 409 (breach of trust), which was earlier invoked on the basis of a complaint lodged by the Rajasthan Royals management, has been withdrawn as the police could not gather sufficient evidence to substantiate the charge.
While 571 pages of the document pertain to the probe’s findings, the rest list the evidence gathered against the accused. The charge sheet lists recorded conversations among the accused, including one between Dawood’s Dubai-based conduit Javed Chutani and suspected bookie Ashwini Aggrawal alias Tinku Mandi, which helped the police unearth the entire cricketer-bookie nexus.
The intercept of a call, purportedly between Dawood and Chutani, provided by intelligence agencies, is a crucial part of the evidence. According to the police, Chutani was in regular touch with Mandi and a Mumbai-based bookie Ramesh Vyas.
Verified voice samples of 12 persons, including that of Dawood Ibrahim; and travel and stay records of the alleged bookies and the accused cricketers — Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan — have also been mentioned.
The police have also annexed statements of suspected bookies Ramesh Vyas, Feroz, Tinku Mandi, Sunil Bhatia and Deepak under Mcoca (admissible as evidence).
Among those listed as absconding are Dawood, his close aide Chhota Shakeel, their suspected conduits Chutani and Pakistan-based Salman, besides Aheteshaan, also a Pakistani national.
While the police have obtained non-bailable warrants against Dawood and Chhota Shakeel, proceedings have been initiated to get the warrants issued against the other absconding suspects. In all, 21 accused persons are at present out on bail.
The list of 168 witnesses in the case includes the name of Rajasthan Royals’ captain Rahul Dravid, whose statement has been recorded. Statements of cricketers Harmeet Singh and Siddharth Trivedi, recorded under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code, have also been annexed.
Through a separate application, the police have also sought the cancellation of bail granted to Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and 19 other accused. The matter is scheduled to be taken up for consideration before the court on Wednesday.
The police crackdown began in the early hours of May 16 when Sreesanth, Chandila and Chavan were arrested along with 11 alleged bookies and their conduits. The breakthrough was achieved following a monthlong probe into 2,000 tapped phone calls, which ran into over 100 hours of conversations between the suspects. Subsequent investigations revealed that the entire spot-fixing racket was purportedly being run at the behest of Dawood and his men. The police then invoked stringent Mcoca provisions in the case. However, a city court had on June 10 granted bail to Sreesanth, Chavan and 19 others, citing lack of evidence under Mcoca.
Keywords: BCCI Working Committee meeting, N.Srinivasan, IPL Governing Council, IPL spot-fixing scandal, BCCI chief, Jagmohan Dalmiya, two-member panel, Raj Kundra, Gurunath Meiyappan, BCCI Anti-Corruption Unit