Tightening the noose around arrested bookies and IPL players, the Delhi Police Special Cell on Tuesday slapped stringent sections of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) on them to probe the role of a larger crime syndicate led by underworld don Dawood Ibrahim in the IPL spot-fixing scandal.
Sources said the Delhi Police investigation is now focusing on the bookies’ network that was directly controlled by the underworld in IPL-6.
The MCOCA invoked against three players and 23 bookies will not only facilitate further custody of the accused for interrogation during the course of investigation, it will also ensure stricter punishment for the accused linked to mafias. Under MCOCA, their confession before an SP-level officer, either in writing or recording, will be admissible in court.
The Delhi Police informed a Delhi court about invoking MCOCA during the bail hearing of Rajasthan Royals pacer S Sreesanth and 15 other accused. Although the Delhi Police move to invoke MCOCA was opposed by defence counsel, the court rejected the bail plea of Sreesanth and others, remanding them in judicial custody until June 18.
The approval to slap the MCOCA against the 26 accused was granted by the Joint CP Special Cell, who argued that calls intercepted by sleuths reveal a large network of bookies, underworld mafia and cricketers in spot-fixing.
The sleuths had intercepted a Dubai number which they verified and confirmed belongs to Dawood Ibrahim. Police had already arrested bookie Yahya from Hyderabad, who is said to be the missing link in the bookie-underworld connection.
The Delhi Police said the three players arrested on May 16 from Mumbai played the role of facilitators, while bookies conspired to run an illegal organised fixing racket in the country that was controlled by a mastermind sitting abroad.
As per Section 3 of the MCOCA slapped against the accused, “Any person who is member of an organised crime syndicate or who conspires or attempts to conspire or abets shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than five years but which may extend to life and fine.”