Sibal: Current Provisions Inadequate
New Delhi: The government is looking to incorporate match-fixing and spotfixing as specific criminal offences under the Indian Penal Code as a deterrent against the subversion of cricket and other sports by the increasingly audacious gangs of bookies.
Law minister Kapil Sibal, who is piloting the move amid a national outrage over the disclosure of spotfixing in the IPL, told TOI on Monday that a specific provision dealing with the “evil” was needed as its absence was being exploited by bookies and others. “It is an evil that needs to be dealt with. The current provisions of the IPC are inadequate. There has been no prosecution for matchfixing because the essential ingredients of the offence under Section 420 are difficult to satisfy,” he said.
Sibal said the government will first examine if the Centre could legislate on the issue, given that under the Constitution, sports is the responsibility of states. He said the government would soon seek attorney general G E Vahanvati’s opinion on the matter. “In case the AG holds that the Centre does not have the jurisdiction, then we will help the s ports ministry come up with a model legislation and discuss it with the states,” he said. “We will be more than happy to collaborate with the sports ministry,” he added.
Black money, hawala links under lens
The Enforcement Directorate and the income tax department plan to probe the money laundering angle in the IPL spot-fixing scandal. A senior official in the revenue department said the agencies will focus on black money and the possibility of transactions being routed by bookies and hawala dealers. They will register separate cases after finishing their preliminary inquiries and going through the FIRs filed by police in Delhi and Mumbai.
The Delhi police had arrested India pacer S Sreesanth and his Rajasthan Royals teammates Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan for fixing parts of at least three IPL matches. Sources say the ED might also investigate the hawala transactions allegedly made in this case under forex laws. The income tax department will look at tax evasion by individuals and betting syndicates involved in such instances. TNN
Sreesanth to file bail plea today
Though the special cell is yet to decide if they want to seek further police custody of the cricketers, Sreesanth’s lawyer claims they will be moving bail application on Tuesday. The lawyer said that the police intercepts neither has any voice samples linking him directly to the bookies nor a proper money trail of how the ill-gotten money reached Sreesanth. However, cops are confident that Sreesanth’s plea will be rejected. Earlier on Monday, Sreesanth’s plea that he be provided with a copy of the FIR of the spot fixing scandal case was disposed of by a Delhi court as his lawyer did not turn up to pursue it. TNN
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