Vikram Agarwal, a Chennai-based hotelier, was denied advance bail by the Madras High Court on Thursday in the IPL betting case.
Dismissing his plea, Justice C.T. Selvam said the nature of the offence, its ramifications and a reading of the State Crime Branch-CID’s counter affidavit, would show the participation of Mr. Agarwal in the alleged wrongdoings.
In his petition, Mr. Agarwal said he apprehended arrest by the CB-CID in the case for alleged offences, including conspiracy, cheating and forgery and under the Tamil Nadu Gaming Act and the Chennai City Police Act. The allegation against him was that he, along with other persons, acted as a bookie in IPL betting.
He said he was only a victim of cricket betting and had been falsely implicated.
Counsel submitted that the police had no material against him.
The investigating agency issued a witness summons to Mr.Agarwal on May 23 for his appearance on Thursday.
That a week’s time was granted itself would show that the police did not have any material to treat Mr. Agarwal as an accused. The ingredients of the offence of cheating were not available to arrest the petitioner.
Advocate-General A.L. Somayaji said investigation revealed that there was a large-scale conspiracy by the accused to cheat the public by indulging in betting.
The statements of other accused revealed the petitioner’s complicity in the offence. Custodial interrogation of all the accused was required. Ingredients of Section 420 (cheating) IPC were satisfied. All the accused were influential persons with a lot of monetary resources.
“This is a matter concerning the entire public and the image of the country,” he said. The plea should be rejected. Mr. Justice Selvam said considering the nature of the offences and its ramifications and the police’s counter affidavit, he was not inclined to grant the prayer.
With regard to Mr. Agarwal’s petition for interim anticipatory bail in the case registered by police in Mumbai, the court ordered notice and posted the matter for further hearing on June 3.
The hotelier had said that unless sufficient time was granted to him for filing an application before the appropriate court in Mumbai and defend his liberty, he would be arrested in that case which had been registered for offences of conspiracy and cheating and under the Bombay Prevention of Gambling Act.
Fails to appear
The Tamil Nadu Crime Branch-CID said later that teams were searching for Agarwal, after he failed to appear before investigators in response to earlier summons. He has been asked by the Mumbai Crime Branch to appear at its office on Friday.
Meanwhile, CB-CID sources said CCTV footage from a luxury hotel here could contain crucial evidence against bookies and other suspects arrested here for their involvement in IPL betting.
Mumbai police gathered evidence from different locations, including Radisson Blu Hotel and the residence of Gurunath Meiyappan, besides the latter’s yacht anchored at Chennai Port. The team also took CCTV footage from the hotel in which betting operations were suspected to have taken place during the recent IPL season. The TN CB-CID also wants to examine this footage as it could contain images showing the movement of key bookies and other persons involved.
Meanwhile, high-profile bookie Kitty alias Uttam Chand’s police custody has been extended till Monday. Investigators claimed that he had given out more names of bookies.