Suspected bookie Shobhan Mehta alias Shobhan Kalachowkie, facing allegations of misusing telephone lines of MTNL to indulge in cricket betting, was taken into custody by Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of city police after the rejection of his anticipatory bail plea, EOW sources said in Mumbai on Tuesday.
Mehta had urged for anticipatory bail fearing arrest in a case registered against him for allegedly misusing MTNL lines and making international calls to promote his illegal cricket betting network.
Sessions court Judge V B Mantri rejected the anticipatory bail plea of Mehta stating that the allegations against him were of serious nature and constituted economic offences.
Soon after the court rejected his plea, the EOW took him into custody for interrogation. However, they are yet to arrest him.
On Monday, Mehta was granted interim anticipatory bail by a Sessions Court till Tuesday.
Public Prosecutor R V Kini opposed Mehta's anticipatory bail stating that he had allegedly committed a serious economic offence involving crores of rupees.
He said the police needed to find out other accused, including cricketers allegedly involved in the case, and hence needed Mehta's custodial interrogation.
Mehta's lawyer I P Bagaria said that Mehta has been shown wanted in an FIR registered by L T Marg police station of central Mumbai, in which three persons have already been arrested and released on bail.
Mehta sought anticipatory bail saying that the alleged telephonic connections were obtained by Ramesh Vyas, proprietor of R B Communication Centre and that he had no association with Vyas.
Vyas was arrested on February 4, 2005, on the charge of misusing phone lines by installing certain software. A case was registered against him under the Telegraph Act, Gambling Act and Indian Penal Code.
Later, co-accused Tushar Gandhi and Nemichand Kanugo were arrested on March 12 and April 28 respectively for the same alleged offence.
Subsequently, all the three accused were released on bail by a magistrate.
According to police, all the three had named Mehta during their interrogation.