Saturday, May 18, 2013

10 questions to Delhi Police who tracked-and-posted the spot-fixing scandal in IPL 6

The Commissioner of Delhi Police (CP) was a hassled  man for the past few months. For doing first what Delhi Police does best  i.e thrashing (actually water-cannoning, lathi-charging , tear-gassing etc.)  the daylights out of student protesters on Delhi streets. The students were protesting the ghastly attack on a young woman in a bus and demanding better security for women in Delhi. But when incidents of rape (some of them clearly macabre & violent too) stopped going down , the city was buzzing with demands of resignation from the CP.  Hence , when the lid on the spot-fixing scandal in IPL broke out a few days back amidst a press conference called by the same CP, the scenario was different. Basking in the glory of having cracked a major case (though involving minor players) with  "strong" evidences to press a charge-sheet against them, the CP was looking more like a DC,DD with a touch of irony & sarcasm laced in his answers almost bringing to mind the images of the iconic figure of Holmes rocking in his easy-chair answering Watson's questions.

Now, a CP is "the"  top cop. He is supposed to be more than the sum of all his roles; field officer, detective, investigator, administrator, crime-tracker & reader of criminal minds. So when he sat  a-la-Holmes during that press conference explaining as to how his team of ever-alert inspectors chanced on a phone tap between an overseas underworld member and a bookie in India and thereby collected with permissions,  phone conversations among  all people under suspicion that run to more than 100 hours (that's roughly greater than the size of a 2500 +pages transcript); the press weren't surprised but definitely looked amazed. This chance clue over a phone led them on to players of one IPL team targeted apparently by 11 bookies from around the world. The CP was pretty confident & categorical when he said that no other player or team or owner/manager was involved . This case is just about limited to the 14 who've been arrested.

Now , now that was a good job, prima facie, by the Delhi Police although the smirk on the CP's face could also relate to complete stoppage of earlier demands for his sack. But then the disclosures do not give a loophole-free account of this chance-tap-arrest story. Here are ten questions for Delhi Police that still needs answers.

Apparently Feroz , a Mumbai hit man, had asked for names of bookies while talking over phone with Tiger Memon , the alleged mastermind of 1993 blasts, in Dubai. Based on this chance tap , Inspector Badrish Dutta , since deceased, got clearance from his higher authorities in Delhi Police to conduct a 150 days long electronic stake-out of Feroz and his conversations with various bookies & others. So here are the questions.

  1. Why was Delhi Police eavesdropping on Feroz's phone and how did they get hold of his number, in the first place?
  2. And since the late policeman Badrish Dutta , who is credited with the first catch, can't verify this part of the story; did Badrish leave behind a written request to his authorities for a stake-out? Can the Delhi Police produce that note? Otherwise Badrish Dutta 's discovery will be legally unverifiable and non-tenable and no one would believe the story that Delhi Police chanced upon the bookies. 
  3. The cops from Delhi Police visited the hotels where players from Rajasthan Royals (RR) were staying in Delhi , Mumbai, Ahmedabad among others. Were the Delhi Police keeping a tap on players from opponent teams too? or was the net spread only for players in RR?
  4. The cops finally arrested the 3 accused RR players from their hotels in Mumbai. Did the cops seize any cash , and if so, of what amount, in the custody of players? If they didn't seize the cash, then how can they prove that the victims benefitted from the "tapped " conversation with the bookies?
  5. If the players  did receive cash for under-performing, whom were the cheating ? Who are specifically the victims in this "crime?" Leaving aside the legally-untenable argument that fans-at-large were cheated , was it the BCCI or was it the ICC  that were victims of crime? Surely the money-trail , if any, didn't leave the above-named short-changed in any manner.
  6. How will Delhi Police prepare the charge- sheet, based on whose complaint? Has the Anti Corruption Unit of the BCCI filed any FIR for violating Clause 1 & its various sub-clauses? How will criminal conspiracy be established if there aren't any apparent victims? or Will it just finally be  a civil violation of contract that players signed with IPL?
  7. The investigators found 5 laptops containing names , aliases & phone numbers of bookies all over the country. Why didn't the Delhi Police conduct a nation-wide raid to nab all these bookies but restricted themselves to only players from one team and their bookies?
  8. The cops talk in confident tones referring to the link with  the stereotyped bogey , Dawood Ibrahim. Did the Delhi Police find any evidence to link Dawood to the players? Otherwise the case against the players of "engaging in a criminal conspiracy with a "terrorist"  & "outlaw" will not stand-up to legal scrutiny.
  9.  The CP sounded very confident when he mentioned while answering reporters' questions that no other team or no other player is involved. One felt he was ruling out the possibility completely even before they could arise. Was the CP under instruction to keep his mouth shut about others because a logical statement would've been to allow further investigations to decide the course of the events and discover names of other players/managers/coaches/stuff/owners ?
  10. When will the Delhi Cops make the phone recordings public in order for public to separate the truth from the half-truths or even falsities?   

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