Pakistan news April 5, 2010

Fraud complaint against Shoaib Malik

Cricinfo staff

Police in the Indian city of Hyderabad have registered a complaint of cheating against Shoaib Malik, the former Pakistan captain. The complaint has been filed by Ayesha Siddiqui, a Hyderabad resident who claims to be his wife, and whom Malik in turn has accused of cheating him.

The police, who questioned Malik on Monday morning and seized his passport - they later said it was for scrutiny and had not been impounded - said the sections under which the complaint had been filed covered harassment, cheating to marry another girl and criminal intimidation including threats.

Malik, currently serving a one-year ban imposed on him by the Pakistan Cricket Board, is in Hyderabad where he is due to marry Indian tennis player Sania Mirza. The wedding is scheduled for April 15 but the charges could throw that off course.

Malik, who landed here on Saturday, admitted to signing the nikahnaama (wedding contract) with Ayesha but claimed it was invalid as he had been misled over the identity of the girl he was marrying. He told the police on Monday that he had been "cheated" by the Siddiqui family and tricked into marriage.

"The Banjara Hills police have received a complaint by Ayesha Siddiqui against Shoaib Malik. We have registered a case against Shoaib. Now we will take legal opinion before further action," Additional Commissioner of Police (coordination), Dwarka Thirumala Rao said. He said immigration authorities had been informed about the case against Malik and his passport seizure.

He said there were some legal complications involved in the case and they would have to examine whether a foreigner committing an offence on foreign soil comes under the purview of Indian law.

Ayesha has alleged that Malik married her several years ago and consequently needs her permission to marry again or to grant her a divorce.

The case was filed two days after the Siddiqui family demanded Malik give Ayesha an "official divorce" and appointed a lawyer to sue him in Pakistan.

"I was wrongly made to believe that the pictures Ayesha had sent me were of the girl I was marrying. I feel terrible about the mess created by a family that has caused a great grief to my own people and the family of my bride-to-be," Malik said.

Later on Monday, Malik addressed the media in Hyderabad and said that he wanted to clear his name and had no intention of leaving the country. "I'm here for the marriage and to clear my name. I'm not leaving the country. Inshallah, I'll clear my name," he said. "I have no objections (to police taking the passport) and I'm cooperating with the police and the Indian government. I have got respect for the authorities and I will do everything to clear my name. I'm ready to face any type of questions."

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