Bookie recants, stumps cops

Updated - July 09, 2013 04:32 pm IST

Published - July 04, 2013 01:42 am IST - KOCHI:

S. Sreesanth

S. Sreesanth

Indian pacer S. Sreesanth fighting charges of spot fixing in the Indian Premier League received a shot in the arm with one of the alleged bookies retracting his confessional statement against the cricketer at a Delhi court on Wednesday.

Jitendra Jain, alias Jeetu’s claim that the Delhi police drew out his confessional statement under duress has bolstered the hope of cricketer’s family and friends convinced about his innocence.

Sreesanth’s mother Savitri Devi “thanked God” for the development that is likely to be significant to her son’s case. “We have faith in the God and the country’s judiciary. We are praying for his acquittal so that he can return to the Indian team at the earliest. We seek every Malayali’s support and prayers for it,” she said.

Though the cricketer was not available for comment, Ms. Devi said her son was happy over the turn of events. Sreesanth had been hospitalised for four days with viral fever, and was discharged on Tuesday evening.

Dipu Santhan said his brother would not like to comment as the matter is before court. “We are yet to talk to his counsel. But we were all confident that truth will definitely be revealed one day,” he said.

Senior lawyer of Supreme Court and Sreesanth’s counsel Rebecca John said the accused bookie’s retracted confession had considerably weakened the case against Sreesanth.

She said those in the custody of dreaded special cell of police might have been forced to give confessional statements under considerable duress and extreme mental pressure.

Ms. John said it had also vindicated the court order releasing Sreesanth on bail while severely admonishing the Delhi police for slapping Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against the three accused cricketers, including Sreesanth.

“The Delhi Police had failed to produce the case diary before the judge. The fact that the case diary wasn’t up to date was proof enough that the police was fabricating evidence against the cricketer,” she said.

In his order releasing the cricketer on bail Additional Sessions Judge Vinay Kumar Khanna of the Saket court had observed that “the court is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for believing that applicants are not likely to be held guilty of any offences under section 3 & 4 MCOCA, on the basis of materials collected so far. This court also finds that prima facie, the acts ascribed to the applicant/accused cannot be brought within the purview of section 420 IPC or under section 409 IPC.”

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