Cricketers Sreesanth, Ajith Chandila and Ankit Chavan, who are out on bail in the IPL spot-fixing case, may have to face the ordeal again. On Monday the Delhi Police moved the Supreme Court against a Delhi High Court order holding that no case under the Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act (MCOCA) was made out against the accused in the IPL spot-fixing case.
MCOCA is a stringent law against organised crime where there is a bar to entertain anticipatory bail plea. Justice Siddhartha Mridul of the HC had last month agreed to hear bookie Mohd Shakil’s anticipatory bail plea after observing that the FIR registered in the case did not disclose offences made under MCOCA.
With the order the HC had termed Shakil’s application for bail before arrest as maintainable. Deciding to hear it on merit, it had asked the police to file a status report with regard to its probe against Shakil. This was a setback to Delhi Police Special Cell.
In a bid to prevent other accused from taking advantage of the HC verdict the Delhi Police rushed to SC saying it had erred in concluding that the FIR, registered at the initial stage of investigation, must contain allegations disclosed under MCOCA.
Additional Solicitor General Siddhartha Luthra said probe under MCOCA cannot be initiated without prior sanction of a senior police officer. He added MCOCA was invoked against the accused on June 1, a month after the FIR was registered and a thorough probe. With regard to Shakil the police said he was an absconder and non-bailable warrants were already issued against him.
Shakil’s advocate, senior counsel and retired HC judge Justice RS Sodhi said MCOCA wasn’t application to Delhi as it was a local law. To this, Luthra said the Act had been adopted by way of a notification. He sought time from the court to produce the notification following which SC adjourned the matter.