Delhi Police failed to establish a link between underworld dons Chhota Shakeel and Dawood Ibrahim or the existence of a crime syndicate controlled by them which allegedly ran a spot-fixing racket in IPL-6, a court said on Saturday.
In a 175-page order that exonerated 36 people, the court said none of the four FIRs registered against Shakeel in the last decade termed the Mumbai-based criminal a member or associate of Dawood, thereby not proving a nexus between the two.
The court also refused to accept the presence of an “organised crime syndicate” as defined by the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act.
“The prosecution has failed to satisfy the requirement of there being more than one FIR against the crime syndicate in the preceding 10 years,” said additional sessions judge Neena Bansal Krishna.
In 2013, the police arrested former India cricketer S Sreesanth and 35 others -- including prominent IPL players Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan -- on charges of cheating and conspiracy, alleging that Dawood and his aide Shakeel were behind the scandal that extended till Pakistan through an aide of Dawood called Javed Chutani, a Pakistan-based bookie. But the court said the police hadn’t presented a shred of evidence on record to prove that a syndicate existed.
“There is not an iota of evidence to show Javed Chutani was a member of an organised crime syndicate of Dawood Ibrahim and Chhota Shakeel. None of the other accused are claimed to be in direct or indirect touch with Ibrahim and Shakeel,” Krishna said. “Once the only link between Ibrahim and Shakeel and other accused is not established, it cannot be said the activities carried by the other accused was a part of an organised crime syndicate.”
But special commissioner of Delhi Police SN Srivastava expressed his disappointment with the verdict, saying sufficient evidence was provided.
“The appreciation would wary from one person to another person. This may depend upon the understanding and imagination of the person appreciating the evidence,” he told HT. The court, however, noted that its hands were tied by the “existing laws” of the land.
“This is a case which raises serious concerns about the rampant rot that has set in sports, especially commercial sports, and the adequacy of existing laws to deal effectively with the prevailing situation,” the judge said.