Mumbai/New Delhi/Thiruvananthapuram, June 4 (IANS) A Mumbai court Tuesday granted bail to CSK team principal Gurunath Meiyappan, Bollywood actor Vindoo Dara Singh Randhawa and two others while in Delhi, bail was denied to Test cricketer S. Sreesanth after police said it had invoked the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against him in the IPL betting and spot fixing scam.
Meiyappan and Vindoo, hawala operator Alpesh Patel and bookie Prem Taneja walked out of the police lock-up in the evening after their conditional bail formalities were completed, including furnishing bail bonds of Rs.25,000 each.
As Meyappan, son-in-law of N. Srinivasan, who had stepped aside as Indian cricket board president and Vindoo came out, they were mobbed by a waiting media contingent but they declined to speak.
Granting them bail in the morning, Additional Metropolitan Magistrate M.N.Saleem imposed conditions like preventing them from leaving the country and reporting to the police station every alternate day.
The bail order came a day after they were sent to judicial custody Monday which the accused followed up with bail applications. However, the court had reserved its orders in the matter and posted them for hearing Tuesday.
Their lawyers argued that their clients’ offences were of a b’ilable nature and they had already spent sufficient time in police custody.
Delhi Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Lokesh Kumar Sharma extended the judicial custody of Sreesanth and 16 other accused, who applied for bail, till June 18.
The court was told that MCOCA has been invoked against the 25 accused as they were allegedly facilitating the illegal acts of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and his aide Chhota Shakeel.
Rajasthan Royals players Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan and 22 others were arrested after Delhi Police intercepted telephone calls of those linked to the Mumbai underworld.
Of the 26 accused, Chavan and Sreesanth’s friend Abhishek Shukla have been given bail. Co-accused Ashwani Aggarwal was sent to Mumbai on a production warrant issued by a court there.
Now that MCOCA has been invoked against accused, Additional Sessions Judge Sanjeev Jain will hear the bail applications of the 16 accused.
Apart from the three Rajasthan players, the other accused include former IPL player Amit Kumar Singh and former Ranji players Manoj Guddewar and Babu Rao Yadav.
Bookies Jiju Janardhan, Deepak Kumar, Manan Bhat, Chandresh Patel, Ramakant Aggarwal, Rakesh, Sunil Bhatia, Kiran Dole, Ashwani Aggarwal, Mohd Yahya, Ajay Goel, Love Garg, Amit Gupta, Bhupender Nagar, Sunil Saxena, Sayed Durez Ahmed, bouncer Vikash Chowdhury and businessmen Vinod Sharma and Nitin Jain are also accused in the case.
The court was earlier informed that police were investigating the angle of Dawood Ibrahim and that interception of calls suggested several big names may be involved in the spot fixing.
Police said they were working on missing links.
Meanwhile, Sreesanth confided with two Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) officials that he is innocent and is baffled by the rejection of his bail plea.
“Sreesanth was taken aback to hear that his bail application has been rejected and the Delhi Police have invoked Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against him,” Sreejith Nair, one of the two KCA officials and a noted criminal lawyer, told IANS after meeting the cricketer at Delhi’s Tihar jail.