IPL spot fixing: 3 bookies get interim bail

New Delhi: A Delhi court on Friday granted interim bail to three alleged bookies, arrested in IPL spot-fixing case along with three suspended cricketers, on the ground that the "investigation" against them was complete.

Additional Sessions Judge Dharmesh Sharma released three accused Ashwani Aggarwal, Sunil Bhatia and Jitendra Kumar Jain on interim bail while directing them to surrender their passports and restraining them from living Delhi.

"...Accused persons (Ashwani, Sunil and Jitender) to be granted interim bail till such time arguments are advanced on the point of charge," the court said while directing them to furnish a personal bond of Rs one lakh with surety of the like amount.

The three were granted bail on grounds of parity with cricketers S Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan of Rajasthan Royals and 21 others who were given the identical relief on June 10 for lack of evidence against them to be charged under MCOCA.

The same court had rejected the bail pleas of these three accused besides two others, saying the provisions of stringent law Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) were applicable to them.

The police had earlier filed its 6,000-page charge sheet against 39 persons. The 40th accused Chandresh Jain was arrested after filing of the charge sheet in the case.

The police in its charge sheet had alleged accused underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and his aide Chhota Shakeel, who have been "controlling the fixing and betting market" in cricket in India, were behind the IPL spot-fixing.

At present, Ramesh Vyas, Firoz Farid Ansari and Chandresh Jain are in jail. Nine are absconding.

During the proceedings today, the court asked about the status report to be filed by the Commissioner of Police in the case.

Public prosecutor Rajiv Mohan told the court that they need some more time to file it as they have sought some vital information from the Mumbai Police, ED and DRI about the probe and they are yet to receive some of it.

He also said the role of each accused has to be explained individually, so it needs more time.

The police also said it will file one supplementary charge sheet against Chandresh by October 31.

Meanwhile, the court has posted the regular hearing in the matter for November 18 and directed the police to file all the remaining reports.

The court had earlier pulled up the Delhi police for lack of coordination in getting evidence from the material seized by other probe agencies, including the Mumbai Police, and had asked the Police Commissioner to take appropriate steps to ensure a fair probe in the case.

On the police`s plea seeking cancellation of bail granted to the cricketers and others, the court said "that application for cancellation of bail shall be decided in sync with a decision on point of charge".

"The investigation qua the applicants (bookies) appears to be complete and it is not the case of the prosecution that applicants are likely to abscond or flee from justice nor there could be a case that the accused person are likely to tamper with the evidence or influence the witnesses in any manner.

"At the cost of repetition, an anomalous situation has arisen since 24 accused persons are already on bail...," the judge said.

It also said it is in agreement with the submissions of the prosecution that this court cannot take a contrary view to the reason that have already been spelt out while passing the order on September 9.

"I may only hasten to add that the view that provisions of MCOCA are applicable is only a tentative one adopted while deciding the earlier bail application.

"Needless to state that a final decision shall be taken after taking a broader look at the provision of law and material gathered/relied upon at the stage of consideration of charge against the accused persons," the judge said in its 10-page bail order.