Tuesday, May 21, 2013

IPL Spot Fixing Scam : IPC on cards to curb match-fixing

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

IPL Spot Fixing Scam : PIL seeks SIT probe, stay on matches
New Delhi: With the Centre deciding to draft a special law to punish those guilty of spot-fixing and cheating in competitive sports, a public interest litigation filed in the Supreme Court sought a probe by a special investigation team into the IPL spot-fixing scandal.

The petitioner, Lucknowbased Sudarsh Awasthi, narrated the manner in which cricketers and a betting syndicate, allegedly controlled by Dawood Ibrahim from across the border, cheated a population which passionately followed IPL matches.
Awasthi sought a stay on the play-off matches, scheduled this week among the four top teams, and said people’s confidence in the game of cricket should be restored.

“There are many irregularities in the IPL beginning from auction of players. Black money and money from antisocial elements are involved in the IPL which needs to be probed,” the petitioner said.

IPL Spot Fixing Scam : Money from land sale: Chandila kin
New Delhi: Police suspect the Rs 20 lakh recovered from Ajit Chandila’s aunt’s house was advance taken by the Rajasthan Royals player to bowl an over in a game in which he would concede 14 or more runs. While he did concede 14 runs, he didn’t give the required signal for bookies to take bets. In phone intercepts the bookies are heard demanding this advance back, but Chandila tries to fob them off by saying that he would adjust the amount in future games.

Police sources said that the money was brought from Chandila’s house to his aunt’s by a cousin of his. The role of the cousin is being probed. Again, in phone intercepts Chandila is heard telling his wife to give the money to someone who would come home.

Chandila’s family, however, claims that the money came to them as government compensation for three acres of land that was acquired. Cops dismiss the claim and say that, according to the arrested bookies, Chandila had taken money from them seven or eight times. Also, quite often, he had failed to do their bidding.

Meanwhile, Rajasthan Royals has filed a police complaint against the three players for violating the terms of their agreement with the franchise. This complaint is being incorporated into the police FIR and would help in establishing the case of cheating against the players under Section 420. Two fans have also filed complaints of being cheated and that, too, is being incorporated in the police FIR.

Delhi police has engaged Dayan Krishnan, the special prosecutor in the Nirbhaya case and a former NIA prosecutor, to prepare the spot-fixing case. The cops know they have a tough legal battle on their hands and are preparing for it.

BCCI’s anti-corruption unit chief Ravi Sawani, a former CBI officer, met Delhi police commissioner Neeraj Kumar on Monday.
Dwaipayan Ghosh TNN 

Three arrested IPL players, bookies give voice samples
New Delhi: Initially, Delhi police’s probe into the spotfixing scandal began with a phone call interception in which they heard cricketers talking to bookies about taking money for giving away runs. Now, Delhi police’s investigations have got a shot in the arm with all three cricketers — S Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila and bookies giving their consent to the sleuths for taking their “voice samples”. Sources say S Sreesanth and Ankeet Chavan’s voice samples have, in fact, already reached in CFSL, Delhi. The voice samples of Chandila and two bookies — Jiju Janardhan and Manan — were taken to the laboratory on Monday.

All the accused persons giving their voice samples is a major breakthrough in this case based on voice recording of spot-fixing, which will be corroborated with the videorecording of three bowlers giving away runs and also meetings in hotels. The CFSL experts have also been provided with the audio and videos which Delhi police already had and now experts would match the voices with the tapes. Officials say CFSL has been requested to process the voice samples matching on priority basis, looking at the sensitivity of the case.

In the beginning, sources say, Chandila had refused to give his consent for the voice sample but after he was coaxed with foolproof evidence against him, he also agreed to give voice sample and was taken to CFSL on Monday. Chandila, during interrogation, is turning out to be the hard nut and often giving contradictory statements.

The bookies — Ashwini Aggarwal alias Tinku, Jiju, Manan, Chandresh alias Chand and Amit Singh (former IPL player) have disclosed during interrogation that Chandila had taken money from them in 7-8 matches, sources say, but he did not perform as decided or did not give signal due to which bookies could not place bet on his overs.

Apart from voice samples, Delhi police officials say all the three cricketers and bookies have also confessed to their involvement in the IPL spot fixing.

RR, fans finally file ‘cheating’ plaints 
New Delhi:Five days after an IPL spot-fixing scandal was unearthed, Rajasthan Royals on Monday finally approached the Delhi police with a complaint against three tainted players of the franchisee saying the cricketers were in contract and they have violated/cheated the franchisee by indulging in illegal practices. On Monday, fans started pouring in with criminal complaints against the three cricketers. Two fans, who watched May 9 and 15 Rajasthan Royals matches in Mumbai and Chandigarh, came to Delhi and gave complaints. TNN
Neeraj Chauhan TNN 

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