IPL case: Police tortured us for confessions, claims bookies

NEW DELHI, June 18:  Three bookies, arrested in the IPL spot-fixing scandal, today alleged in a court here that the Delhi police has extorted their confessions in the case by using “third degree torture and coercion”.

The court sought police’s response on the allegations by bookies Sunil Bhatia, Ramesh Vyas and Firoz Ansari who claimed that investigators had obtained their confessions by use of force.

Additional Sessions Judge Ajay Kumar Jain directed the police to file its response by June 22.

The allegations by the three accused assumes significance as recently, Umesh Goenka, the business partner of Rajasthan Royals owner Raj Kundra, had claimed before court that he was forced to name Kundra in cricket betting on instructions from Delhi Police personnel who had “traumatized” and “physically abused” him in illegal custody for five days.

Goenka, whose statement has been recorded as a witness in the case, had also said that he was forced to name Kundra to save himself from physical torture and from being booked under the MCOCA, as allegedly threatened by the police.

During the hearing, the court allowed the agency’s plea for sending the three bookies and two others, including bookie Deepak Kumar and ex-Ranji player Babu Rao Yadav, to 14 days of judicial custody till July 2.

Apart from moving the plea to send the five to judicial custody, police also filed an application seeking issuance of fresh production warrant for bookie Ashwani Aggarwal, who was not produced before it today as he is at present in Mumbai.

Bhatia, Vyas, Yadav and Kumar were produced in court after expiry of their judicial custody, while Ansari was brought before the judge after expiry of his police custody.

The court had yesterday remanded suspended cricketer Ajit Chandila, arrested in the case, to fresh police custody for three days after police said he was required to corroborate evidence collected from other accused after invoking MCOCA.

It had also deferred hearing on Chandila’s bail plea to June 22 after police informed it that some vital confessional statements of the bookies have to be placed on record.

Apart from Chandila, Bhatia and Vyas, the others whose bail pleas have been deferred to June 22 are bookies Ashwani Aggarwal and Deepak Kumar and player Baburao Yadav.

Earlier, Delhi police while opposing Chandila’s bail plea had said that he was a “key conspirator” in the entire IPL spot fixing case and was acting at the behest of a syndicate run by gangster Dawood Ibrahim.

The Delhi Police on May 16 had arrested three cricketers — S Sreesanth, Chandila and Ankeet Chavan of Rajasthan Royal’s — on charges of spot-fixing.

Police had slapped provisions of MCOCA on Sreesanth, Chandila, Chavan and 25 others in the case, alleging that they were acting under the command of Dawood and his aide Chhota Shakeel.

The court had granted bail to Sreesanth, Chavan and 19 others citing lack of evidence for framing charges under MCOCA. (PTI)