IPL spot-fixing: Sreesanth, others to reply to police plea

IPL spot-fixing: Sreesanth, others to reply to police plea

Suspended cricketers S Sreesanth and Ankit Chavan of Rajasthan Royals and 19 others were today asked by a court here to respond to the plea of Delhi police seeking cancellation of bail granted to them in the IPL spot fixing case citing "evidence" against them under MCOCA.

Special Public Prosecutor Rajeev Mohan said that earlier they had no sufficient evidence, so the accused were released on bail. But now, they have strong evidence to prove that all the arrested persons were acting on behest of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and his aide Chhota Shakeel.

Additional Sessions Judge Renu Bhatnagar issued notice to the cricketers and bookies for August 21.    The court also took cognisance of the charge sheet filed yesterday and directed that a copy be supplied to each of the accused.

On June 10, while granting bail to the accused, the court had said there is prima facie "no sufficient material" against the accused to establish their "nexus" with organised crime syndicate.

Delhi Police Special Cell has now said there are enough grounds for revocation of its earlier order granting bail to them.

Mohan, who moved the plea on behalf of the police, said that with the invocation of the stringent provisions of Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), the accused have no right of bail.

He also said that as per the CFSL report, the voice of each of the accused, directly or indirectly speaking to underworld people sitting abroad, has been identified.

"We have attached 2000 pages of messages sent among the 39 persons chargesheeted in the case," Mohan submitted.

Presently, out of the 39, 21 are on bail, eight are in custody and 10 are absconding.

The court, meanwhile, deferred to August 7 the hearing on the bail plea of accused Jitender Jain, who is in judicial custody, after Delhi police said that it wants to advance arguments on the basis of the charge sheet filed.

The court's decision on the bail applications of the seven others, who are also in judicial custody, was also deferred till August 7.

Delhi police's submission that it wants to advance arguments on the basis of its charge sheet was strongly opposed by the counsel for Jitender and the seven others-- bookies Ashwani Aggarwal, Ramesh Vyas, Deepak Kumar, Firoz Farid Ansari and Sunil Bhatia, ex-Ranji player Babu Rao Yadav and Rajasthan Royals player Ajit Chandila.

While deferring the hearing on the bail pleas, the court declined the defence request that prosecution not be allowed to make fresh submissions since it was to pronounce order on bail applications of the seven accused.

The lawyers for the accused also contended that the prosecution has to show prima facie case for cancellation of bail of the 21 accused and also making new submissions regarding the eight who are in custody.

In its 6000 page charge sheet, Delhi police has said that Dawood Ibrahim and his aide Chhota Shakeel, who have been "controlling the fixing and betting market" in cricket in India, were behind the IPL spot-fixing scandal.

It has also listed 168 persons as prosecution witnesses, which includes Rajasthan Royals' captain Rahul Dravid.

The 10 persons who have been listed as absconding in the charge sheet are Dawood, his aide Chhota Shakeel, their associates Chutani, Salman, Ehteysham, Mohd Amir and bookies Sanjay Aggarwal, Chandresh Jain, Praveen Kumar and Sandeep Sharma.

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