NEW DELHI: The Delhi Police on Wednesday challenged the acquittal of three IPL cricketers — S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankit Chavan — and 34 others in the 2013 IPL spot-fixing case by a city court in July. Filing a review petition in the High Court, the police said the trial court has “erroneously held a mini trial” in the matter which is “impermissible in law” at this initial stage when the case is in its infancy.
On July 25, Additional Sessions Judge Neena Bansal Krishna in a Patiala Court had discharged all the accused when the case came up for order on framing charges against the 37 accused people, who were on bail. Five accused, including Dawood Ibrahim and Chhota Shakeel, are shown as absconders in the case.
The police pointed out that the trial court had committed a gross “error of law”, overlooking the fact that the matter was at the stage of framing charges and the evidence was yet to be recorded in the trial.
Meanwhile, Sreesanth’s close associate claimed that a case dismissed by the trial court as non-existent cannot stand in a higher court.
“If Delhi Police have appealed in the HC, it can turn out to be beneficial to Sreesanth. He can now challenge the blanket ban by BCCI. But we will first have to check the details of the appeal,” said the associate.
“Filing an appeal is one thing and the court admitting it is another. Even if the appeal is admitted prima facie and a notice issued, getting an order from the court is far off. Sreesanth already has a court order in his favour. Let’s see how it is,” said Sreesanth’s lawyer Rebecca John.
Demanding to set aside the judgment and final order of discharge, police also said that the court has erred on facts holding the link between Dawood Ibrahim and Choota Shaqeel and other accused. The police said that there is more than one FIR in preceding 10 years as required under Section 3 of MCOCA (continuing unlawful activity) and in the process failed to note that at least four FIRs were registered against Dawood Ibrahim and Choota Shaqeel in Mumbai.
The police pointed that the trial court failed to appreciate that the CFSL report conclusively established that accused Javed Chutani was in touch with accused Ashwani Aggarwal from the mobile number used by Dawood and Choota Shaqeel. Chutani conversation intercepted and recorded by the investigating agency was found to be genuine even by the CFSL, police said in plea.
The police petition also states that when raids were conducted on May 17, 2013, 35 mobile phones, 6 laptops, ipad, dish TV, set top boxes, 3 internet cards, 3 wifi routers, electronic printer, TV decoders of various companies, LCD TV 40 inches, handwritten diaries and papers were recovered from the arrested bookies.
The police also said that large numbers of mobile phones were found to be acquired by impersonating identities in order to run illegal exchange and to evade detection.
The court said that probe agency has failed to establish existing of a core crime syndicate of underworld Dawood Ibrahim and his aide Chhota Shakeel in the organized offence of betting and match fixing.
Earlier, the trial court in its 175 page order had stated “...even if entire evidence of prosecution is accepted, then too it is not established that there exists a core crime syndicate of Dawood, Chhota Shakeel who have been indulging in the organized offence of betting and match fixing and also dealing with money so generated through hawala.”