New Delhi: A bookie in IPL spot-fixing case was on Monday remanded in fresh police custody for five days by a Delhi court after the agency said it has invoked MCOCA against him and was entitled to seek his further custody. "The matter is being investigated under the provision of Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA)... Accused (Ashwani Aggarwal) is remanded in five days of police custody," Additional Sessions Judge Raj Rani Mitra said.
The court directed the special cell of Delhi police to produce Ashwani alias Tinku Mandi before it on June 29. The court also deferred hearing on the bail applications of suspended Rajasthan Royal's player Ajit Chandila, bookies Ramesh Vyas, Deepak Kumar and ex-Ranji player Baburao Yadav for Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the court fixed hearing on bail application of Ashwani and bookie Sunil Bhatia on June 29 after their counsel requested it to keep it on that day as Ashwani will also be produced. Besides, the court has also issued production warrant for bookie Baburao Yadav for Tuesday.
The court directed the special cell of Delhi police to produce Ashwani alias Tinku Mandi before it on June 29.
During the proceedings, Ashwani refuted the allegations of special cell that he had links with the underworld people. Seeking 10-day fresh custody of Ashwani, senior public prosecutor Rajiv Mohan said MCOCA was invoked in the case on June 3 and they need his custody to interrogate him.
The police also said Ashwani was in constant touch with Javed Chutani, a close associate of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and Chhota Shakeel. Ashwani, arrested on May 16 and after remaining in Delhi Police custody for over 11 days, was handed over to Mumbai Police on May 28 as they wanted to interrogate him in a similar case lodged there.
The Delhi Police had on May 16 arrested three cricketers -- S Sreesanth, Chandila and Ankeet Chavan of Rajasthan Royals -- on the charge of spot-fixing. On June 3, Delhi Police had slapped MCOCA against Sreesanth, Chandila, Chavan and 25 others alleging they were acting under the command of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and Chhota Shakeel.
The court had granted bail to Sreesanth, Chavan and 19 others due to lack of evidence to be charged under MCOCA. Till date, three accused - Chandila, Bhatia and Ashwani - have been further remanded back in police custody after invocation of MCOCA against them by the agency. The prosecution said custodial interrogation of Ashwani is required to unearth the deep rooted conspiracy.
"Now, the investigation of this case has extended beyond spot-fixing in IPL-6 cricket matches in the form of organised crime. To unearth the whole conspiracy of this syndicate and arrests of other co-accused persons at his instance from various states of India, a thorough interrogation is required," the prosecution contended.
Ashwani's counsel opposed the police's plea, saying MCOCA was invoked merely to hinder the accused from getting bail. He further told the court that the prosecution was aware from the beginning that all the accused in the case were part of an alleged syndicate run by Dawood and Shakeel. If police were aware of it, then they should have invoked MCOCA at the outset.
The defence contended that the prosecution should come with a clean hand and should admit that they want to get the custody of the accused to record his confessional statement as it becomes an admissible piece of evidence during the stage of trial after MCOCA is invoked in the case.