With the Delhi police slapping the stringent MCOCA provisions against those arrested in the spot-fixing scandal, it looks like the accused would have a tough time to wriggle out of the case. Though MCOCA provisions accords privileges to the prosecution, lawyers feel they will have a tough time establishing links, especially against the players, to ensure the Act is applicable.
Criminal lawyer Arfan Sait points out that though many have been arrested, it is enough for one person to have a criminal record and a charge-sheet filed against him to bring the others under the Act’s ambit.A case of one
"Since the players have already been charged under section 34 of the Indian Penal Code for aiding and abetting, the implication of MCOCA can affect S Sreesanth and other players, provided their link to the syndicate is established," Sait said, adding that in all probability there will be only one crime registration and charge sheet against all.
Advocate Samir Vaidya felt the players cannot be booked under the MCOCA as it is unlikely a cricketer could be part of a crime syndicate. “The players can be approached by a bookie, and (they) can be tried for accepting money but the onus (of organised crime syndicate) is on the bookie. It would be tough for the investigating officer to establish links. Also there is presumption of innocence since some of the accused are first-time offenders.”
Sait said the players can challenge MCOCA in a higher court and simultaneously seek bail. “It is a wrong notion that the MCOCA accused would not get bail for 180 days. It is the prerogative of court to grant it if prima facie finds nothing against the accused.”
However, the odds are stacked against the accused since the prosecution and investigating officers are at an advantage under MCOCA.