AHMEDABAD: A special court for Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) cases rejected an Enforcement Directorate's plea here today, seeking ten days' custody of two alleged Delhi-based bookies in a multi-crore rupee IPL betting case.
Special PMLA court Judge A P Bhojak rejected ED's plea stating that it had failed to produce ample grounds for seeking custody of the alleged bookies.
The court observed that ED had already processed various documents in connection with the case and hence there is no need to seek custody of those accused.
On May 10, ED had arrested the two persons namely Ritesh Bansal, alias `Bharat Delhi', and his brother Ankush Bansal from their house in Shastri Nagar in Delhi.
They were arrested during ED's searches with regard to an alleged Rs 4,000-crore money-laundering case against syndicates which accepted bets on IPL T-20 cricket matches.
Yesterday, ED had produced the duo before the court and also moved a remand plea stating that they are associated with Tommy Patel and Kiran Mala, two Gujarat-based bookies who were arrested in March.
Patel and Mala allegedly placed bets through the United Kingdom-based betting website Betfair, ED plea said.
ED's plea before the court said that Ritesh and Ankush operated from a house in Palam Vihar in Gurgaon, Haryana, adding that it had seized eight laptops, a CPU, 57 cellphones and Rs 26,30,000 in cash from the house.
Arguing the case, the ED prosecutor demanded the duo's custody for ten days to seek details about several documents recovered from them.
On behalf of ED, Advocate Sudheer Gupta told the special PMLA court that the prosecution agency had recovered various documents from the duo which suggested that they had links outside the country.
Gupta alleged that the bookie syndicate allegedly accepted bets of around Rs 144 crore per day on ongoing IPL cricket matches and they have to be examined to get details of other accused involved in the racket.
ED stated that the two accused use code words to accept bets and their custody is needed to decode these.
However, the defence advocate K A Shah had challenged ED's plea for custody and said that the prosecution agency has arrested his clients without giving specific grounds.
"According to Section 41 of Criminal Procedure Code, the agency has to give specific grounds to arrest but in this case, the probe agency did not give any grounds to arrest (of Ritesh and Ankush)," Shah said.
Shah also told the court that ED got a transit remand from a Delhi court on May 11 and they had produced both the accused before the Ahmedabad court yesterday.
ED had not produced the accused before court within the stipulated time period of 24 hours, Shah said, adding that his clients should be released immediately from "illegal confinement".
"The accused were in ED's custody for two days during the period of transit remand and hence they had enough time to interrogate them," Shah said.
"According to ED's submission, documents are with the prosecution agency and so there is no need to grant custody," Shah said.
The PMLA court accepted the defence's argument and rejected ED plea, while both the accused were sent to the Sabarmati jail here later for judicial custody.
According to ED sources, the prosecution agency will challenge the order before the High Court.