New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear next week a PIL seeking shifting of probe into the IPL spot-fixing scandal from Delhi and Mumbai Police to the Central Bureau of Investigation to unearth the larger conspiracy and insulate the investigation from "highly influential persons and politicians". The petition in this regard was mentioned before a bench of justices Gyan Sudha Misra and Madan B Lokur which said that the matter will be heard next week.
The petitioner said the investigation in the scandal should be handed over to the CBI from Delhi, Mumbai Police and officials of other probe agencies so that proper co-ordination takes place and the guilty persons do not go scot free due to "mismanagement and lack of co-ordination between different police agencies". The petitioner, Sharmila Ghuge, an educationist in a Mumbai law college, wanted the apex court to direct the CBI to probe allegations of spot fixing, match fixing, betting etc pertaining to the cricket matches of IPL 6 or its earlier versions.
The CBI should unearth the huge racket behind such illegalities and take the strongest possible action against all the masterminds behind such acts, she said. The petition said for a "fair and proper" investigation, the cases registered by both the states should be probed by the CBI, as otherwise there are chances that the probe can be hampered by "highly influential persons and politicians".
The petitioner said the case should be handed over to the CBI as there is lack of co-ordination between the Delhi and Mumbai Police.
"It is pertinent to mention here that there is every chance that the highly influential persons and politicians are involved in the said illegality and therefore there is every likelihood that by exercising their influence they will try to hamper investigation into the said offence and they will naturally over power the local police of Mumbai and Delhi. "Therefore, there is a need that the present offence should be investigated by CBI as this is an interstate crime and spread across the entire country...," the PIL said.
The PIL sought direction for taking suitable legal action against all the persons, "high or mighty found involved in the said illegalities, which have put the image of the entire nation as well as game of cricket at stake, for ulterior motives". In the IPL spot fixing case being probed by Delhi Police, 26 people, including Indian pacer Sreesanth and Rajasthan Royals players Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan and several bookies, have been arrested.
So far, the Mumbai Police has arrested actor Vindoo Dara Singh and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) principal Gurunath Meiyappan, son-in-law of BCCI President N Srinivasan who has stepped aside, and six bookies in the case and they all were on Tuesday granted bail by a court there. The petition has arrayed Centre, Maharashtra and Delhi governments, their police agencies, CBI and BCCI as parties in the plea. It said that the role of BCCI is also under the shadow of doubt for numerous reasons and there has been no prompt action taken by BCCI in the required direction.
The petition said that although the allegations made in the matter are very serious in nature, it appears from the newspaper reports the investigating agencies have not booked the accused persons by applying proper provisions of law. Nor it appears that proper steps are being followed to ensure that the culprits get suitably punished, it said.