T20 spot-fixing investigations hit roadblock
Jatin Anand, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, June 12, 2013
First Published: 22:33 IST(12/6/2013)
Last Updated: 22:45 IST(12/6/2013)
With a majority of those arrested being allowed bail and a key witness attempting to turn hostile within two consecutive days, the Delhi Police’s investigations into the recent spot-fixing scandal seemed to have hit another legal roadblock on Wednesday.
According to a city court, not to mention seasoned investigators within the force, the special cell jumped the proverbial gun and failed at several important counts – especially establishing a tangible money trail – to justify slapping the accused with the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).
“Instead of arresting the three players merely on the basis of statements weaned from intercepted conversations, they should have moved in and caught them accepting the payment red-handed,” said an officer.
“All they needed was to lie in wait – maybe used marked currency to establish the monetary transaction as and when it happened – just like any normal police operation.”
Having built their case from top to bottom as opposed to the other way around according to its critics, the most principal among the police’s worries at the moment, however, is something which has haunted Indian police organisations and intelligence agencies for decades.
This is to prove in accordance to the Indian Penal Code (IPC) that Dawood Ibrahim is alive, kicking and managing an international crime syndicate from an offshore location.
“The court has asked us to prove that Dawood was passing on instructions through his voice sample,” said an officer investigating the case.
“How can we get his voice sample until and unless he is arrested? The best we could do was rope-in the Intelligence Bureau (IB) to state that the number being used belonged to Dawood and has also been found to have been used by Chhota Shakeel on at least three occasions.”
There could have been an alternative which might have worked. “They claim they have recorded audio conversations to prove that Dawood was passing on instructions to bookies. Why weren’t these played out in court instead of merely being put on record as verbal statements?”
According to those investigating the case, however, ‘sufficient technical evidence exists’ and more arrests – based on the disclosure statement of arrested bookie Ramesh Vyas – are in the offing.
“Vyas is singing,” maintained an officer. “He has provided sufficient evidence in his disclosure for us to establish MCOCA to two different IPS officers as required by law and more arrests will be made in the coming days.”