The Bombay High Court on Thursday asked the Mumbai police crime branch to submit a progress report in a case being probed by them into the alleged match-fixing and betting in 2013 Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket matches.
On a PIL seeking a joint probe by CBI, Income Tax Department and Enforcement Directorate into the alleged match fixing and betting in 2013 IPL matches, a bench of Justices Abhay Oka and PD Naik asked police to submit on April 27 the progress report of investigations made by them.
The bench also asked investigation officer Nandkumar Gopale to appear in person on the next date of hearing on April 27. The court asked police to inform on the same day what steps it had taken to trace the accused in the case.
In its affidavit, police said that it had arrested 22 accused, including bookies, in this case, and said they would make further investigations and file supplementary charge sheet. The petitioner, activist Ketan Tirodkar, prayed that CBI be directed to register a case of cheating against players and bookies who had allegedly developed nexus with vested interests for “fixing matches or promoting betting in IPL matches”.
The PIL alleged that offences had been committed in the context of match-fixing during IPL 2013 and also sought a direction to the ED, IT Department as well as Mumbai police and Delhi police to cooperate with the CBI, which should take up the role of coordinating these investigations.
The petitioner said that on a request by the Central government, the CBI had earlier conducted a preliminary inquiry into the alleged nexus of players with bookies. This report should culminate in the filing of an FIR if offences had been committed. However, this had not been done, the PIL said.
When the IPL scam occurred in 2013, names of some bookies had cropped up during investigations, conducted separately by Delhi police and Mumbai police, the PIL said, adding that a central and independent agency like the CBI must be directed to probe the alleged cricket match-fixing and betting.