Published: Thursday, July 27, 2000, 18:23 [IST]
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Under Section 276 C, orders can be passed within 60 days, but prosecution proceedings can straightaway be initiated; it (the items recovered in the raids) is sufficient to file an FIR.

After these findings, there is no section in the IT Law that exempts them (the people raided).

Now, there will be pressure on the IT Department not to prosecute the cricketers. The Department is likely to delay proceedings. If they (those raided) go unpunished, then the IT will be violating Article 14 (Equality before law) of the Indian Constitution.

What is the role of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) now?

The order of Justice Mehtab Singh Gill of Punjab and Haryana High Court in May forced the government to present the entire match-fixing findings and assets before it. It was done on my findings.

The CBI is inquiring under Preliminary Enquiry (PE), which is a mysterious thing. They should have transferred the FIR to the Delhi Police (DP) or should have registered a fresh FIR before starting the investigation.

Under Indian Penal Code (IPC), a PE has no validity. Any statement made to the CBI or DP has no validity before a court of law.

Section 131 of the IT Act deals with recording of statements of the accused and witnesses. It can summon any person, and it is judicially admissible. And the government will be in a position to order prosecution after 60 days.

But, the CBI must come out with an explanation why it did not prosecute.

Do you think the offenders will eventually be punished?

Betting in Delhi is punishable with a fine of Rs 50 only. To punish players for match-fixing, some spectator will have to furnish the ticket of a match that was fixed and claim that he was cheated.

We are seeing virtually a mass scale rape of the game. A reasonably good number of people are involved in match-fixing. The IT Department has conclusive evidence of tax evasion.

The IT is very fortunate that it has so much evidence. It will also have to explain why some big fish were left out. Why weren't Gavaskar and Bindra raided?

There are about 150 major bookies in India, spread over 30 cities, but officially only 15 were covered by the raids.

Minister of state for Finance Dhananjay Singh must stick to his Sunday's statement. I fear he will change it. And the government must conduct more raids - about 50-60 - on the people who have not been raided.

I have definite information (about others), but I cannot go to office. There is a wealth of information (with IT) and it should be followed. A lot of people are busy destroying evidence.

'Operation Gentleman' should not be stopped. The IT has no shortage of manpower; it has 2,500-3,000 officers all over the country.

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