Sreesanth among three Royals players in police chargesheet
The Delhi police has named Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan among 39 people - including Dawood Ibrahim, India's most wanted criminal - as accused in its chargesheet in the IPL spot-fixing case. While Chandila is still in jail, the other two cricketers are out on bail, which the police has formally moved the court to cancel.
The 6,000-page charge sheet names 39 persons as accused for offences under the Indian Penal Code and provisions of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA). "The players and others have been charged with criminal conspiracy, cheating and dishonesty," special public prosecutor Rajesh Mohan told AFP.
The prosecution witnesses include Rahul Dravid, the Rajasthan Royals captain, Royals bowlers Siddharth Trivedi and Harmeet Singh, and franchise officials.
Police told the trial court that the accused were "part of a larger betting syndicate" controlled by Ibrahim and his aide Chhota Shakeel, according to Mohan, and "knowingly abetted the operation of this international organised crime syndicate."
Sreesanth and Chavan had been granted bail by a Delhi trial court on June 10 along with 17 others, also arrested in relation to the case. They had, however, been asked to surrender their passports. Chandila has not applied for bail yet.
While granting bail, the judge had said the Delhi police had not produced enough evidence to charge the players under the MCOCA, a special law passed by the Maharashtra state government to tackle organised crime syndicates and terrorism which contains far stricter provisions relating to bail and admissibility of confessions compared to the Indian Penal Code.
Sreesanth, Chavan and Chandila were arrested on May 16, following which they were suspended by the BCCI pending an inquiry. They were charged under the Indian Penal Code sections 420 and 120B, which deal with fraud, cheating, and criminal conspiracy. Section 409, which deals with criminal breach of trust by a public servant, which was earlier brought about by the Royals management, has been dropped as the police could not gather sufficient evidence to substantiate the charge.* Royals also suspended the contracts of all three players, who were allegedly promised money ranging from US$36,000 to 109,000 by bookies for under-performing.
* - 0300 GMT, July 31, 2013 - Details of Section 409 was added to the copy