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CWG: Two Indian officials held, to face court today

other Updated: Aug 04, 2014 11:27 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times
Commonwealth Games


Rajeev Mehta, secretary general of the Indian Olympic Association and a senior member of the Indian contingent at the Commonwealth Games, and wrestling referee Virender Singh Malik, were arrested in Glasgow on Saturday evening, evoking shock and shame among athletes and sports lovers.

The two were in custody over the weekend and will be produced in a Glasgow court on Monday. While Mehta was arrested for allegedly driving above the legal alcohol limit, Malik was held for allegedly being involved in sexual assault in a hotel.

Besides the offence of drink-driving, Mehta is reported to be involved in a hit-and-run case too, in which two people were injured, and later obstructing the work of the police by not stopping and speeding away from the scene. Together, the two offences carry higher penalities.

Most members of the 215-member strong Indian contingent were unaware of the events of the previous evening, and went about on Sunday preparing and looking forward to three gold medal bids in hockey and badminton during the closing day of the event.

A spokesperson for Police Scotland told HT that two male members aged 45 and 49 were arrested on Saturday on charges of alleged assault; one of them in the Glasgow city centre and the other in the west of the city.

As per standard practice, the police did not reveal their names, or give further details of the two separate incidents that led to their arrest.

The Indian high commission in London said: “We have learnt about the detention of two members of the Commonwealth contingent by the local (Glasgow) police. Our consulate in Edinburgh has deputed an official to Glasgow to keep in close touch with the police to ascertain full facts of the case. We are also in touch with the team”.

Mehta and Malik were reportedly staying in hotels outside the accommodation arranged for visiting contingents. Malik, a Category I wrestling referee, was said to be invited to the event by the sports international federation, and was not part of the Indian contingent.

Team India with 215 athletes has been competing in 14 sports.

What penalties could Rajeev Mehta get?

Britain is among several European countries that have strict rules and penalities for anyone caught driving above the legal alcohol limit, which depends on a range of factors, but two pints of beer or two pegs of whisky could take you over the limit.

Indian Olympic Association secretary-general Rajeev Mehta, who was arrested for drink-driving in Glasgow on Saturday, potentially faces a range of penalities when he is produced in court on Monday. They include imprisonment, being banned from driving and a fine.

The legal alcohol limit for drivers in the UK is:

• 35 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath
• 80 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood
• 107 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of urine

The actual penalty handed out is up to the magistrates who hear the case, and depends the circumstances of the offence. The court may offer a drink-drive rehabilitation scheme course if the offender is banned from driving for 12 or more months. The penalty options are as below.

For being in charge of a vehicle while above the legal limit or unfit through drink:

• 3 months' imprisonment
• Up to £2,500 fine
• A possible driving ban

For driving or attempting to drive while above the legal limit or unfit through drink:

• 6 months' imprisonment
• Up to £5,000 fine
• A driving ban for at least 1 year (3 years if convicted twice in 10 years)

Refusing to provide a specimen of breath, blood or urine for analysis:

• 6 months' imprisonment
• Up to £5,000 fine
• A ban from driving for at least 1 year

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