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Police turf war MESSES up IPL spot fixing probe

Last updated on: May 22, 2013 13:30 IST

Police turf war MESSES up IPL spot fixing probe

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Vicky Nanjappa

Delhi and Mumbai Police have been at logger heads in the past. But the ongoing tussle between the two police forces in connection with the spot fixing scandal in the Indian Premier League has made a mess of the investigation.

Though the arrests took place in Mumbai, it was the Delhi Police which initiated the probe.

This even prompted the Delhi Police to say that their counterparts in Mumbai are trying to cover up their failure, as it took place right under their nose and they did nothing about it.

However, the Mumbai Police is questioning the manner in which the Delhi Police operated.

'They carried out the arrests, but we were the ones who managed to seize the material, which led us to vital evidence. This is quite fatal to the case as the arrests were made by one authority and the seizure by another. A defence counsel can lap this up while arguing this case and could always claim that evidence was planted later on as the police had found nothing at the time of the arrest,' a Mumbai Police source said.

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Photographs: Parivartan Sharma/Reuters

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The Delhi Police got a shot in the arm when the Rajasthan Royals management filed an official complaint with them against the three players. The filing of a case under Indian Penal Code 420 is a bit tricky and very often needs a complainant.

The Delhi Police did not want the filing of a case under IPC 420 to look like a suo motu action and on Wednesday the section will be added based on the team management's complaint.

A senior police official who has been witnessing this turf war feels that there needs to be a coordinated effort and both should arrive at the same conclusion at the time of filing a chargesheet.

Looking at the manner in which the investigations are going on in a parallel manner, it is clear that there would be contradictory charges and the case has every chance of being struck down on a technicality.

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Photographs: Reuters

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In the past, the two police forces have had a showdown over two important cases.

It started off with the 13/7 blasts in Mumbai.

After the Maharashtra Anti-Terror Squad failed to make any breakthrough in the case for almost a year, it was the Delhi police that busted a module from Darabanga in Bihar and claimed that the suspects it had in its custody were involved in the 13/7 blasts.

The lack of coordination was evident as the Maharashtra ATS chose to start off its own investigation.

Around the same time, the Delhi Police tipped off the Maharashtra ATS about elusive Indian Mujahideen founder Yasin Bhatkal landing up at an apartment at Byculla in Mumbai. However, the ATS decided not to follow the tip off and picked up an informer.

Bhatkal caught wind of the threat and escaped.

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Photographs: Reuters

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The second time when the two police forces failed to act in cohesion was in the case of Abu Jundal, an accused in the 26/11 Mumbai attack case.

Jundal had been deported from Saudi Arabia to Delhi for questioning. Two days later the Maharashtra ATS sought his custody and after failing in their first attempt they managed to obtain his custody, much to the dismay of their counterparts in Delhi.

The Delhi Police had collected certain information from Jundal; the ATS did the same during their questioning. For all logical purposes, Jundal had to be in the custody of the ATS, as it was a case concerning their state.

However, what both police forces failed to understand was that Jundal operated out of foreign soil and hence should have been in National Investigation Agency's custody.

The NIA has its own case on Jundal now; there are now three different cases against him.

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Photographs: Reuters

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