Hearing on the bail pleas of Rajasthan Royals’ Ajit Chandila and four others in the IPL spot-fixing case were on Wednesday deferred by a Delhi court, which also remanded bookie Sunil Bhatia to two-day police custody.
Additional Sessions judge Vinay Kumar Khanna fixed the bail applications moved by Chandila, Ashwani Aggarwal, Baburao Yadav, Deepak Kumar and Bhatia for June 14, saying one of the accused (Bhatia) has been remanded to police custody for two days as new facts have emerged in the case.
The court directed that Bhatia be produced before it on June 14.
Earlier, counsel for the accused requested the court to take up the matter and grant relief to accused persons on the ground of "parity" with Rajasthan Royals’ cricketers Shanatakumaran Sreesanth and Ankeet Chavan, and 18 others, who were given identical relief earlier.
The judge, however, said that it cannot hear the bail plea as one of the accused has been remanded in police custody on the request of the investigators, who have submitted that some new facts have come on record and sustained interrogation is required to unearth the deep-rooted conspiracy.
The five have moved their bail applications after the court granted bail to 20, including Sreesanth and Chavan, observing that there is no reason for believing that the accused are guilty under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) at this stage and, hence, cannot be kept in jail.
The police has also sought custody of Ashwani Aggarwal, an alleged major bookie from Delhi allegedly having links with D-company.
As he was not brought from Mumbai, he could get a six-day police remand.
The police said accused Ramesh Vyas, whose arrest in the case was affected on June 8 and who is in police custody remand till June 18, has disclosed the role played by Ashwani as the link between the fixers, bookies and hawala operators in India and syndicate members who are operating from Dubai and Pakistan.
The Delhi police special cell further informed the court that the revelation made by Ramesh, Ashwani alias Tinku Mandi, was controlling the entire North India territory on behalf of gangster Dawood Ibrahim and Chhota Shakeel syndicate.
It also said that the angle of inter-gang rivalry between Dawood and Chhota Rajan cropped up during the probe.
"Inter syndicate rivalry is a new angle which has been revealed in this plot by Vyas," the police said, adding it needs to be probed thoroughly.
The police told the court that as per the material on record, Bhatia was acting as the henchman fixer for Ashwani.
The police said, "Bhatia was found fixing players as well as threatening them for failed or undelivered performances. He was directly in touch with Chandila and, through him, with others like Siddharth Triwedi."
Triwedi has recorded his statement before the magistrate and is likely to be made witness in the case.
During the course of arguments, the police also told the court that Chandila has emerged the key conspirator in the entire downward chain acting on behalf of the syndicate.
"He was directly in conversation with several fixers and players and received money and gifts from them on numerous occasions," the police said, adding that his further police remand may be required once joint examination of Vyas and Ashwani is over.
The Delhi police have so far arrested 26 persons, including Sreesanth and his Rajasthan Royals teammates Chavan and Chandila in connection with the case.
Besides the 20 who were granted bail by the court till date, four others are now in judicial custody till June 18 while one of the alleged mega bookies, Ramesh Vyas, wll be in police custody till June 18.
Vyas was arrested by the Mumbai police crime branch and handed over to the Delhi police after it sought his remand to unearth the deep-rooted conspiracy.
Sreesanth's friend Abhishek Shukla, arrested for allegedly removing the cricketer's money and articles from his hotel room, was granted bail on May 30, after the court held that no case of cheating and criminal breach of trust is made out against him.
Image: Ajit Chandila