New Delhi: The Delhi Police today sought issuance of open non-bailable warrants for fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and Chhota Shakeel in connection with the IPL spot-fixing racket, which it said was being run on their command.
In an application moved before Additional Sessions Judge Vinay Kumar Khanna, the Special Cell of Delhi Police said, "It has come to our notice that main bookies and the fixers were in touch with Dawood Ibrahim and Chhota Shakeel.
"It has come to the notice that Dawood and Chhota Shakeel gave directions to bookies and fixers in India to fix the cricket players and betting on cricket matches," it said. The police also said the two are not traceable at their Mumbai address.
The court has fixed the application for hearing on June 10.
Meanwhile, the court today heard arguments on bail pleas of eight accused including pacer S Sreesanth and his Rajasthan Royals teammate Ankeet Chavan. Sreesanth's counsel senior advocate Pinaki Misra said,
"Monumental injustice has been done by invoking MCOCA, which has been brought in by Delhi Police only to make its case look glamourous."
Misra, who is also a Member of Lok Sabha, submitted, "Can there even be an iota of evidence to invoke MCOCA. Parliament would turn over its head knowing to what use MCOCA is being put. I myself am a Parliamentarian and we seriously need to consider it," he submitted.
He said the only thing against Sreesanth is "the unique signal he is said to have given in tucking the towel. Even a cricketer like Dravid tucks his towel while playing.
"There are five to six occasions when in similar temperatures, he has tucked the towel. We should not forget they are playing in temperatures as high as 42 degrees Celsius. He is a fast bowler with a speed of 135km per hour."
In a written reply to the bail pleas, police said the accused were part of an organised crime syndicate being run from abroad. "During investigation it was revealed that all the spot/session fixing activities were going on in a well organised and clandestine manner. The rates of the bets were being conveyed to the major bookies from abroad.
"A large number of persons from India as well as abroad were placing their bets with these mega bookies and their several subsidiary chains of bookies resulting in the generation of huge amounts of money on a daily basis. All the settlement of accounts was being done using illegitimate hawala channels," it said.
During investigation, it was revealed that accused Ashwani Aggarwal alias Tinku Mandi, a major bookie based in Delhi, was in constant touch with one Dr Javed alias Javed Chutani who is based in Pakistan.
The police reply said Javed, as per confirmation received from a Central Intelligence Agency, is a close associate of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar - Shaikh Shakeel alias Chhota Shakeel syndicate, which has been operating in India and against India even after their escape following the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts.
It said that at present both of them are learnt to be based in Pakistan with their associates in entire Middle East and South east Asian countries and are continuing their activities of organised crime through their henchmen based in India.
The prosecution also told the court that most wanted Dawood has also been declared "international terrorist" and is facing stringent United Nations Security Council sanctions. In the running of organised criminal activities against strategic and economic security of India and its citizens, he plays a pivotal role.
It also said accused Ashwani was found to be in close and direct association with the syndicate member Javed during whole of this season of IPL. He was also in touch with one Salman (unconfirmed identity), a close associate of Javed.
Another bookie namely Ramesh Vyas was also found to be in touch with Javed and Salman while Ashwani and Vyas were also in touch with each other. Accused Sunil Bhatia, Kiran Dhole and Manish are also close associates of Ashwani.
The prosecution said the object of this organised criminal activity can be achieved only by fixing the players performing in the matches because it is the only way to gain money to the tune of crores of rupees illegally.
On the stretching and exercises Sreesanth did before opening which police say was a signal to the bookie, Misra said, "Every fast bowler worth his salt in the world would do some stretching while opening an over. He said the batsman could only score four runs of the first four ball in the allegedly fixed over. Why would have Sreesanth waited for last two balls to give away a total of 14 runs if he was fixed?
"He is a bowler known to give runs and take wickets," the counsel said. Refuting the allegation of bookies paying Sreesanth's bills, Misra showed the cricketer's bank statements for last two months which had "a spate of ATM withdrawals for payment of parties this young man was hosting. It was his money. He has enough money and does not need any fixer or bookie to pay his entertainment bills."
Meanwhile, arguing for Ankeet Chavan, advocate Kishore Gaikwad said, "What syndicate is the police talking about? There is no nexus between Chavan and anybody from underworld. It is a gospel truth."
"Merely accompanying my friend to parties is not a crime," said Pawan Narang, counsel for Sreesanth's friend Jiju Janardhan while D P Singh, counsel for Chandresh Patel, submitted that the police is yet to prove who has been cheated due to spot-fixing as Rajasthan Royals had won the match.
Other accused whose bail pleas were heard today are Syyed Durez Ahmed, Sunil Saxena, Mohd Yahaya, Dipit Garg and Manan Bhat. Remaining ten bail pleas will be heard on June 10.
Additional Public Prosecutor Rajiv Mohan told the court that the bail pleas of the accused should be rejected outright as they have been booked under MCOCA and the probe is still on.
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