CHENNAI: The lockdown has affected BCCI’s Anti-Corruption Unit’s (ACU) functioning to a great extent. Its investigation into alleged spot and match-fixing scandals, including the Karnataka Premier League (KPL), has hit a roadblock.
Already grappling with issues, ACU received another jolt when it was not given permission to question bookie Sanjeev Chawla, who was granted bail by a Delhi court on Saturday. Delhi police has challenged the decision and approached Delhi High Court.
An alleged bookie and key accused in one of the cricket’s biggest match-fixing scandals that involved former South Africa captain Hansie Cronje, Chawla was extradited from London in February. ACU had earlier had expressed a wish to question him.
“No access was allowed to him. I think even the (Delhi) police had to interrogate him in the jail because of the court order,” ACU chief Ajit Singh told this daily. However, Singh cited sources and claimed that Chawla hasn’t divulged things, which could have been significant for ACU.
Speaking on the impact of the lockdown on ACU’s functioning, Singh said: “Given the situation, we cannot do questioning as it demands physical presence of both parties. A few have to be questioned in cases including the KPL scam. But now that can be done only after normalcy is restored.”
Most of the sports bodies, including BCCI and ICC, have gone online and held meetings via tele or video-conferences to remain functional and chalk out strategies to deal with the crisis. But this option seems to be impractical for ACU to adopt.
“Questioning suspects is not the same as examining them face-to-face. Admissibility of evidence gained will itself be questioned. Getting their attendance via video is not easy either. There is no guarantee that there is no impersonation,” the former Rajasthan DGP added.
Singh, however, said that the unit officials discuss matters as and when the need arises through telephone and e-mails.