Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik, facing a cheating case here, may not be able to leave the country soon as his passport is required by the police for verification following a criminal complaint by Ayesha Siddiqui who claims she is married to him.
Hyderabad City Police Commissioner A K Khan today indicated that he could not give any time-frame within which the investigations into the case would be completed.
"Timeline is very difficult to set at this stage because we are not yet totally sure how much of work it entails. As of now, the rough assessment is that there are 14 to 15 witnesses in and around Hyderabad itself," he said.
The police this morning took the passport of Malik and asked him not to leave the country as they questioned him in the wake of a complaint of cheating, harassment and criminal intimidation lodged by Ayesha's father.
"As part of investigations, Shoaib's passport has been taken. We felt it necessary to check from the passport the veracity of her (Ayesha's) assertions that Shoaib Malik had visited Hyderabad during the alleged wedding period," Khan told reporters this evening.
Khan clarified that Shoaib's passport has not been confiscated or impounded. It has been taken to verify entries.
Asked when Shoaib would get back his passport, Khan made it clear that as of now it would remain with the Central Crime Station (CCS)--a wing of Hyderabad City Police, which has taken over investigations into the case.
The Police Commissioner said besides the passport a lot of other documents needed to be examined. "May be, the Forensic Science Laboratory also will get into the picture".
He said police will also have to reach out to witnesses outside Hyderabad. The Siddiqui family has been asked to produce all the material evidence in support of their initial complaint.
The immigration authorities have been informed about the case, Khan said adding "It would enable to keep a watch at airports...in case the accused intends to travel outside."