Two months after the IPL spot-fixing scandal had shaken India’s favourite sport and three cricketers had been arrested, the Delhi Police on Tuesday filed a charge sheet in a city court naming Pakistan-based underworld dons Dawood Ibrahim and Chhota Shakeel as the “kingpins who hatched the conspiracy”.
Rajasthan Royals players S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan, as well as many bookies, were among the 39 accused named in the 6,000-page charge sheet. Royals captain Rahul Dravid and player Harmeet Singh are among the 168 witnesses listed by the police.
The scandal broke on May 16 when the Delhi Police arrested Sreesanth, Chandila and Chavan from Mumbai. They had allegedly conceded an agreed number of runs in return for money from bookmakers.
The police requested the court to cancel the bail given to Sreesanth, Chavan and 19 others. It needed to be “considered afresh” following evidence in the charge sheet, the police said.
“From a detailed inquiry, it has been established that accused were acting as part of a grand conspiracy hatched abroad by Dawood and Chhota Shakeel.
Dawood personally set illegal betting rates for matches and also at times manipulated odds on a likely winner through his bookies to rake in large sums of money,” the charge sheet said.
All the accused have been booked under the stringent Maharasthra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) and the Indian Penal Code for cheating and criminal conspiracy. If the charges are proved, they may spend their lives in jail.
The charge sheet is supported by telephone intercepts, voice sample reports, forensic reports and confessional statements of some of the accused.
The court will read the charge sheet on Wednesday. After being rebuked by the court, the police dropped Section 409 of IPC (criminal breach of trust by a public servant) earlier used on all the accused.
A Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) report on call intercepts mentioned that one of the voices was that of Dawood. A witness apparently identified the don’s voice and number.
The CFSL report relates to phone calls made by cricketers and bookies with alleged links to the underworld. “They were also speaking to Dawood’s associate Javed Chutani and one Salman, now in Pakistan,” the charge sheet stated. Chutani and Salman have been named in the charge sheet.
“This syndicate has been actively operating from the safe havens with the singular objective of destabilising Indian security, sovereignty and economic stability,” the charge sheet stated.
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