The Delhi High Court today chided the city police during the hearing of its case against a trial court order discharging cricketers S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila, Ankeet Chavan and 33 others in the 2013 IPL-6 spot fixing scandal case.
Justice Ashutosh Kumar expressed displeasure that Delhi police was seeking more time to file their response to the applications of some of the parties for release of their passports, seized during investigation in the matter.
While giving the police time till January 22 next year, when the next hearing will be held, the judge orally observed, "It appears that you (police) do not have a good case to put before this court."
The high court had on November 18, 2015 issued notices to all the 36 respondents, who were discharged in the case.
The trial court's verdict had said the investigators had failed to gather "all necessary ingredients to establish a prima facie case" under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).
The trial court had dropped all charges against the 36 accused, including some bookies, holding that the Special Cell of Delhi Police had been unable to establish any "nexus" or link between them and crime syndicate allegedly run by fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and his close aide Chhota Shakeel, who, along with one Sandeep, were declared proclaimed offenders in the case.
Three other accused - Javed Chutani, Salman and Ehtesham are Pakistani nationals and the police could not lay their hands on them.
Assailing the verdict, the appeal has contended that the trial court order was unsustainable.
The Delhi Police has submitted that the logic and conclusions put forth for discharging the accused were not correct.
It had contended that the trial court had erred completely in interpreting the provisions of MCOCA dealing with crime syndicates and the manner in which the issue of framing of charges had been discussed needed to be looked at again.
Besides the three cricketers who were part of the IPL team Rajasthan Royals and banned for life for their alleged involvement in crime, several bookies were among the 36 named in the 6,000-page charge sheet.
In the charge sheet, the Delhi police had claimed to have unearthed sufficient evidence to prosecute them for the offence punishable under section 120B (conspiracy) read with 419 (cheating by personation), 420 (cheating) of IPC, besides those relating to MCOCA.
The trial court had disagreed with the police on invoking MCOCA against the accused and said, "The best case could have been under Public Gambling Act, but that also is not prima facie established from the evidence placed on record by prosecution."
"The offence of cheating is also not made out prima facie, even if the entire evidence of prosecution is admitted without formal proof," the trial court had added.