हिन्दीಕನ್ನಡമലയാളംதமிழ்తెలుగు

CBI to look into assets of Azhar, Sharma

Published: Sunday, November 5, 2000, 23:53 [IST]
 
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New Delhi: CBI has asked the Income Tax authorities to provide details of the assets of two cricketers. Agency has not ruled out the possibility of prosecution under prevention of corruption act as they were "public servants." The agency sources said the CBI had written a letter to the Income Tax department asking them to provide details of the assets of these two players. The sleuths of the Special Crime Branch were also working on other leads available with them, the sources said. Special director G Achari, who was overall in charge of the investigations into the match-fixing scandal, had said earlier "We will pursue the case against the two players under Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA) and we will not allow the matter to rest." "We are gathering more evidence against these two players and are waiting for more inputs from Income Tax authorities," he had said adding "at some stage we may call them for further questioning, though not for the time being." Azhar is chief manager and PRO with public sector State Bank of India and Sharma is employed with the Central Warehousing Corporation. The sources said though the prosecution of the two is not ruled out, the further course of action would depend on further evidence the agency is able to gather. Income Tax sources said CBI should not "hurry" in filing the FIR against any of the cricketers till the IT department completed its assessment. This will help CBI in strengthening the case against the players, the IT sources said adding any hurry would level the case with that of Hawala case which fizzled out. CBI had referred its probe report to former Supreme Court Judge Justice M K Mukherjee and solicitor general Harish Salve to get their expert legal opinion on "whether the facts disclosed in the enquiry are sufficient to institute a case for any criminal offence." Though Justice Mukherjee ruled out a case of cheating against the players, on Azharuddin and Sharma, he said "the two players may be said to have committed offences under Section 13(1(D)(I) of Prevention of Corruption Act." Salve also felt there was no point in proceeding against the players due to "improbability of investigating agency being able to obtain sufficient legal evidence." In its 162-page report, CBI has said technically cases under PCA could be registered against Azharuddin and Sharma but added "looking at the issue in totality, the question of registration of a case under sections 13(1)(D)(I) and (III) (criminal misconduct) is under evaluation." PTI

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