Suspended cricketer Ankeet Chavan, an accused in the IPL spot-fixing scandal, was on Tuesday denied bail by a Delhi court which said social stigma cannot be a ground to give him the relief.
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Lokesh Kumar Sharma dismissed his plea for bail, which was sought on ground that his marriage is fixed for June 2 and if the wedding does not take place it will cause harm to his reputation and that of the prospective bride.
“The defence counsel has cited reason of social stigma to the families of the bride and groom. Social sentiments cannot be considered as a valid ground while evaluating the grounds of bail.
“Keeping in view the gravity of offence and conspiracy with other co-accused persons, I do not find any ground to admit accused either on regular or on interim bail. Both the applications are accordingly dismissed,” the judge said.
During arguments on Chavan’s bail plea, his counsel Rajiv Shankar Dwivedi said there is no direct evidence against him and he has been falsely implicated in the case.
He said the player’s marriage is fixed for June 2 and the pre-wedding ceremonies have to start from May 31. Invitation cards have already been distributed and all preparations for the marriage have already been done, he said.
The counsel also said, “If the marriage does not take place, the reputation of Chavan as well as the prospective bride would be harmed.”
“Chavan is an employee of Air India and due to the allegations in this case he has been suspended from there, which had cast serious aspersions on his career,” he said.
The prosecutor vehemently opposed Chavan’s bail plea saying the investigation was at an initial and very crucial stage and everyday new facts were being unearthed by police.
In such a situation if the accused is admitted to bail, there is every likelihood of his tampering with evidence or fleeing from justice.
Chavan also moved a plea for interim bail for a week to attend his marriage.
His counsel said the accused belongs to a respectable family having deep roots in the society and has clean antecedents and has been falsely implicated in the case.
“His parents are dependent on him. His father suffers from several ailments like hypertension,” he said.
Opposing plea for interim bail, Senior Public Prosecutor Rajiv Mohan said it a settled proposition of law that once a person is not entitled to regular bail on a specific ground, then he cannot even seek interim bail on similar ground.
Meanwhile, bookie Ashwini Aggarwal and Chandresh Patel also moved their bail pleas, which have been fixed for hearing on June 4.
Senior advocate Rebecca John, appearing for Sreesanth briefly argued for his bail which was later fixed for hearing on June 4.
During the arguments, she said, “Sreesanth is a celebrated cricketer who has played for Indian cricket team in various matches.”
She also argued that FIR in the case was registered on May 9 on the basis of speculative and unfounded allegations which are neither sustainable in facts nor in law.
She said allegations relating to Sreesanth with regard to spot fixing are contrary to facts being relied upon by the prosecution.
“Allegations against him are false and fabricated. He has never indulged in any spot-fixing and has always upheld the tradition and spirit of the game,” she said.
The counsel also added that there is no conversation between him and any bookie prior to the match in question and no amount was given to him by any conduit and he is ready to cooperate in the probe and will not tamper with the evidence.
The court, however, fixed Sreesanth’s bail plea for further hearing on June 4.