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Rajasthan Royals' Sreesanth and 2 others held for spot-fixing

New Delhi: India fast bowler Sreesanth as well as his Rajasthan Royals colleagues Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila were arrested in Mumbai on Thursday for alleged spot-fixing in the Indian Premier League (IPL). 

Besides the three players, Delhi Police also arrested seven bookies from Delhi, Mumbai and Ahmedabad in connection with spot fixing, which includes bowling no-balls at pre-determined times.

"The arrests were made on the basis of phone tapping," a Delhi Police source told IANS.

While Rajasthan Royals didn't name the players, Delhi Police sources confirmed that Sreesanth, Chavan and Chandila were the three players. 

"We have been informed that three of our players have been called in for investigation on spot-fixing in matches. We are completely taken by surprise. We do not have the full facts at this point and are unable to confirm anything," said Rajasthan Royals in a statement. 

"We are in touch with the BCCI on this matter. We will fully cooperate with the authorities to ensure a thorough investigation. The management at Rajasthan Royals has a zero-tolerance approach to anything that is against the spirit of the game," the statement added.

Last year, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had suspended Shalabh Srivastava, Mohnish Mishra, T.P. Sudhindra, Amit Yadav and Abhinav Bali for spot-fixing in the IPL that was revealed in a sting operation by a TV channel. 

Spot fixing came to light in 2010 when three Pakistani cricketers Mohammad Asif, Mohammed Aamir and then skipper Salman Butt were arrested during the Test series in England. 

The trio were alleged to have carried out specific on-field actions, including bowling no-balls at pre-determined times, for payment, during the Lord's Test. The International Cricket Council (ICC) later handed them long bans and they were also convicted and sentenced to spells of detention in Britain. — IANSBack








One or two bad eggs cannot sully the game: Srinivasan

MUMBAI: Stunned by the arrest of three cricketers in the spot-fixing scandal that has shaken the IPL, BCCI president N .Srinivasan on Thursday said a few "bad eggs" would not be allowed to sully the game and the punishment handed down to them would be "sufficient deterrent" for others.

"I don't know about others but I am shocked, the BCCI never expected it. It was a bolt from the blue. We will see whatever is there to be done is done. The sport is clean, we are running it clean and one or two bad eggs cannot sully the game," Srinivasan told reporters from Kodaikanal in a video conference.

"We have to examine and see what we can do and what steps we can take to demonstrate that such kind of work does not pay," he said.

A special cell of the Delhi police arrested well-known pacer S. Sreesanth and his teammates — Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan — along with seven bookies on Wednesday night after their team, Rajasthan Royals, IPL match against Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai.

The cricketers and bookies have been charged under sections 420 (cheating) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code and are being flown in to Delhi for further questioning.

The BCCI chief rejected the argument that players indulging in corrupt practices were perhaps underpaid, saying, "I don't think it is a case of players not having enough money. You can call it greed, not a question of inadequate compensation."

"We thought when we made an example last year (by banning five domestic cricketers involved in spot-fixing), we thought the message was clear and people would not do anything like this. But we will continue with our efforts. The action that we take against these players would be sufficient deterrent," he added. — PTIBack







Tainted trio should be banned for life if found guilty: Ganguly 

KOLKATA: Former India captain, Sourav Ganguly today said the three cricketers accused of spot fixing should be "banned" for life if found guilty.

Stunned by the spot-fixing scandal that has thrown the cash-rich Indian Premier League into a massive crisis, Ganguly said: "I am disappointed and angry at what has happened. If found guilty they should be banned for life."

"This type of corruption is up to the player, no one can force you. The deed is done by the player, no one can force him," Ganguly told a news channel.

Indian pacer S. Sreesanth and two of his Rajasthan Royals teammates were today arrested by a special cell of the Delhi Police on charges of spot-fixing. Ganguly said it was a loss of talent for cricketer like Sreesanth who had played under him.

"I am very upset with Sreesanth. This is a complete loss of a talent. I am really feeling sorry for Rahul Dravid," he said.

Former BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya, currently at the helm of Cricket Association of Bengal, was relieved that nobody from the state was involved in the scandal.

"Thankfully, no cricketer from Bengal is involved in this. But it's a shame that brings disrepute to the game. I will comment after reading the report. I know police is taking strict action against the errant," Dalmiya told PTI. Indian cricket team manager for Champions Trophy Ranjib Biswal said: "Sreesanth has always been a controversial character and strong action should be taken against the players if found guilty." — PTIBack







Sanjay Dutt surrenders before TADA court 

MUMBAI: Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt today surrendered before the designated TADA court in Mumbai to serve a three-and-a-half year sentence in the 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts case.

Accompanied by his wife Manyata and film maker Mahesh Bhatt, the 53-year-old actor arrived at the court sporting a red ‘tilak’ on his forehead.

As soon as Dutt appeared before the court, the formalities began for his surrender. The court commenced the process for the identification of Dutt, whose conviction was upheld by the Supreme Court recently.

Earlier, Dutt, sporting a white kurta and jeans, left his Bandra residence in the afternoon and waved to the crowd before getting into his car outside Imperial Heights building at Pali Hill in suburban Bandra.

As soon as Dutt’s vehicle arrived near the court, it was surrounded by people, including press photographers.

Bhatt first emerged out of the car and with folded hands requested the media personnel to move away so that Dutt would be able to reach the court. After much persuasion, the way was cleared for Dutt to reach the court.

Several fans of Dutt waited patiently outside the court for the actor to arrive. Police had maintained strong bandobast in the court premises as well as at the actor’s residence in Bandra in the wake of threat to his life.

While Dutt had told the TADA court earlier that he faced threat to his life from fundamental groups, Arthur Road Central Jail authorities received an anonymous letter a few days back saying Dutt would be harmed if he was lodged there.

The Supreme Court, in its March 21 verdict, awarded five years’ imprisonment to the actor for illegal possession of arms. The apex court, on May 14, refused to grant him more time to surrender.

On May 10, the Supreme Court had dismissed Dutt’s plea seeking review of its judgment on his conviction and the five-year jail term.

Earlier, celebrities from Bollywood visited the actor since Wednesday night. Among those who visited Dutt were actors Salman Khan, Abhishek Bachchan, Ajay Devgn and directors David Dhawan, Sanjay Gupta and Apporva Lakhia (with whom Dutt worked in ’Janjeer’ remake), Rajkumar Hirani and Milan Luthria.

Raj Kundra, husband of actor Shilpa Shetty, and producers Vashu Bhagnani, Bhushan Kumar and Rahul Agarwal also paid a visit to offer moral support to the actor. — PTIBack









No arrest for posts on social sites without senior cops' nod: SC

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday said that no person should be arrested for posting objectionable comments on social networking sites without taking prior permission from senior police officials.

The apex court, which refused to pass an order for a blanket ban on the arrest of a person for making objectionable comments on websites, said state governments should ensure strict compliance of the Centre's January 9 advisory which said that a person should not be arrested without taking permission from senior police officials.

"We direct the state governments to ensure compliance with the guidelines (issued by Centre) before making any arrest," a bench of justices B S Chauhan and Dipak Misra said.

It said the court cannot pass an order for banning all arrest in such cases as operation of section 66A (pertaining to objectionable comments) of the Information Technology Act has not been stayed by the apex court which is examining its constitutional validity.

In view of public outrage over people being arrested for making comments or liking posts on Facebook, Centre had on January 9 issued advisory to all states and UTs asking them not to arrest a person in such cases without prior approval of a senior police officer.

The advisory issued by the Centre says that, "State governments are advised that as regard to arrest of any person in complaint registered under section 66A of the Information Technology Act, the concerned police officer of a police station may not arrest any person until she/he has obtained prior approval of such arrest from an officer, not below the rank of inspector general of police (IGP) in metropolitan cities or of an officer not below the rank of deputy commissioner of police (DCP) or superintendent of police (SP) at district level, as the case may be."

The apex court was hearing an application seeking its direction to the authorities not to take action for posting objectionable comments during the pendency of a case before it pertaining to constitutional validity of section 66A of the Information Technology (IT) Act.

The section states that any person who sends, by means of a computer resource or communication device, any information that was grossly offensive or has a menacing character could be punished with imprisonment for a maximum term of three years, besides imposition of appropriate fine.

The petition was also filed regarding the arrest of a Hyderabad-based woman activist, who was sent to jail over her Facebook post in which certain "objectionable" comments were made against Tamil Nadu Governor K Rosaiah and Congress MLA Amanchi Krishna Mohan. After filing of the petition, she was released by a district court at Hyderabad.

Jaya Vindhayal, the state general secretary of People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), was arrested on May 12 under section 66A of the IT Act for the "objectionable" post.

According to the police, she had also allegedly distributed pamphlets making objectionable allegations against Rosaiah and Mohan before posting the comments online.

The matter was mentioned before the bench by law student Shreya Singhal, seeking an urgent hearing in the case, saying the police is taking action in such matters even though a PIL challenging validity of section 66A is pending before the apex court.

She had filed the PIL after two girls — Shaheen Dhada and Rinu Shrinivasan — were arrested in Palghar in Thane district under section 66A of IT Act after one of them posted a comment against the shutdown in Mumbai following Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray's death and the other 'liked' it.

On November 30, 2012, the apex court had sought response from the Centre on the amendment and misuse of section 66A of IT Act and had also directed the Maharashtra government to explain the circumstances under which the 21-year-old girls were arrested.

Pursuant to the notice issued by the apex court, the Centre had informed it that the controversial provision in the cyber law under which two girls were arrested for Facebook comments did not curb freedom of speech and alleged "high handedness" of certain authorities did not mean that it was bad in law.

The ministry of communication and information technology in its affidavit had said that an advisory had been issued to all the state governments, saying that due diligence and care may be exercised while dealing with cases arising out of the alleged misuse of cyberspace.

The Maharashtra government in its reply had said the arrests of girls in Thane district were "unwarranted" and "hasty", which "cannot be justified".

The state government had also submitted an affidavit stating that the Thane Police SP (Rural) had been suspended for arresting the two girls despite the instruction by the IGP not to take such action.

The court had earlier issued notices and sought responses from governments of Delhi, West Bengal and Puducherry where a Professor and a businessman were arrested under section 66A of the Act for a political cartoon and tweeting against a politician respectively. — PTI




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