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Spot, match fixing to be criminal offences soon: Sibal

Source: PTI
May 20, 2013 21:57 IST
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Spot fixing and match fixing would fall in the category of criminal offences under the new law being contemplated by the government, Law Minister Kapil Sibal said on Monday.

Sibal has emphasised that there was a need for a separate law to deal with the menace of fixing in cricket as the Indian Penal Code does not recognise match fixing and spot fixing as offences.

"You have to have a separate definition and a separate law, which makes match fixing or spot fixing an offence, a criminal offence, and have separate provisions dealing with the punishment and trial. Of course the criminal procedure code will apply," Sibal told a TV channel during an interview.

"That law is being contemplated and when broad contours of the law are ready, and this will be done in collaboration with the sports ministry, then the sports ministry will carry it to Parliament," he said.

The arrest of three Indian cricketers by the Delhi police on charges of spot fixing in IPL matches shook the cricket world last week.

The three Rajasthan Royals players -- S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan -- were charged under sections 420 (cheating) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.

Sibal said these provisions were not good enough to deal with the crime of fixing.

"You cannot get any conviction because 420 is not an appropriate provision to move forward in the case of match fixing," Sibal said.

The minister was optimistic that the new regulation could be introduced in the next session of Parliament.

"The government would like to do it soon. The government would like to fix it soon and I am sure that the young sports minister will ensure that we develop a consensus on this and I don't think any political party would be opposed to such a legislation," Sibal said.

The law minister did not give definitive answer about whether betting in cricket should be legalised.

"I am not going to comment on that, it's for the sports ministry to decide. It happens in horse racing, many countries in the world legitimise betting. That's something the sports ministry must decide on its own," he said.

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