Top CBI officials probing the match-fixing scandal had recently decided that Prabhakar should be requested to take a lie detector test in the face of scanty evidence to prove the charges he had made against Kapil Dev.
"A decision was taken at a senior level to request Prabhakar to take a lie detector test. We are still waiting for his reply," R N Sawani, the CBI joint director heading investigations in the match-fixing case, said. Prabhakar had alleged that Kapil Dev had offered him Rs 25 lakh to play poorly during the Singer Cup tournament in Sri Lanka in 1994.
Kapil denied the allegations and had even broken down on a television show, saying he was innocent. Prabhakar had also clandestinely videotaped his interviews with cricket authorities, police personnel and former cricketers during which they had said that Indian cricketers had indulged in fixing matches. Sawani said the agency could not force Prabhakar to take the test.
"It would have to be his voluntary decision to take the test," he said. Sawani added, however, that the CBI would not wait endlessly for Prabhakar to come forward for the test. "We have to file our report on time. So we cannot wait for Prabhakar. However, if he takes the test, it would help us in finding out the truth," he said. CBI sources said that in the face of little evidence to prove the allegation that Kapil Dev had asked Prabhakar to play poorly, they had to resort to this step. "The lie detector test would clear the picture," an official said. Since May this year, the CBI has examined more than 100 people, including former skipper Mohammed Azharuddin, Ajay Jadeja, Nayan Mongia, Manoj Prabhakar, president of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) A C Muthiah and former Board president I S Bindra.
The agency quizzed Kapil Dev for two hours on September 7 about Prabhakar's allegations, which he denied, the sources said. Although CBI officials are tight-lipped about the contents of the report being prepared by them, sources said the Income Tax Department has passed on some information to the agency about bets placed on cricket matches by persons having "contacts" with some cricketers. "We found some evidence of betting during cricket matches and have passed it on to the CBI as they are investigating the match-fixing scandal," a highly placed source in the Income Tax Department said. The Department conducted nation-wide raids at the residences and business premises of cricketers, cricket administrators and suspected bookies on July 20 and 21 and it is presently assessing their incomes. "The Income Tax Department has shared whatever it had unearthed during its investigations on match-fixing. It is yet to be determined how useful these tips will be to us," Sawani said. The CBI, besides summing up its four-month-long investigations into match-fixing, will also include findings by the Income Tax Department on betting and to what extent match-fixing was prevalent in Indian cricket.India Abroad News Service
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