A local court today remanded six bookies, associated with T20 betting syndicate, in judicial custody till June 5 after rejecting the plea of the Mumbai crime branch which sought their remand and reprimanding it for deficient probe in the case.
"Despite ample opportunities provided, the investigating officer has not pointed out who has been cheated and why," Additional Metropolitan Magistrate M N Saleem observed, apparently referring to cheating and forgery charges slapped on the accused, while remanding them in judicial custody.
The accused have been booked under relevant sections of Information Technology Act, Bombay Gambling Prohibition Act and IPC sections including 420, 465, and others related to cheating and forgery.
The magistrate also reprimanded the police for seeking extension of their remand on grounds similar to those on which they had earlier secured their remand.
The crime branch had on May 20 told the court that they want to elicit information about the absconding bookies from the arrested bookies.
"There is no sufficient ground for police custody," the magistrate observed.
The crime branch told the court that it wants to confront the six accused with Bollywood actor Vindoo Randhawa, son of late wrestler-actor Dara Singh, arrested yesterday for his alleged association with bookies.
Mumbai Police has so far arrested six bookies - Ramesh Vyas, Pandurang Kadam, Ashok Vyas, Neeraj Shah, Pravin Bera and Pankaj Shah alias Lotus - in connection with the T20 betting case.
All the bookies have filed bail applications and the Mumbai crime branch will file a reply on May 24.
The crime branch officials also said voice samples of the accused have to be taken and they have to confront the accused with each other.
However, defence lawyers pointed out that the custody is not required for recording voice samples or for confronting with other accused.
On May 20, the city police, which had arrested six bookies in connection with the T20 betting, told the court that they would investigate if the Pakistanis with whom the bookies were in touch had any terror links or connections with the organised crime syndicates.
The arrested bookies were allegedly not only accepting the betting but were also connecting calls from bookies in Pakistan and Dubai.