हिन्दीಕನ್ನಡമലയാളംதமிழ்తెలుగు

Manoj dodges CBI, records deposition

Published: Thursday, November 30, 2000, 0:00 [IST]
 
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New Delhi: Former Indian all-rounder Manoj Prabhakar, credited with raking up the match-fixing scandal in the country, has flared up a new controversy by foxing the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and videotaping his own deposition. The controversial cricketer on Wednesday defended his action, saying that his lack of faith in those investigating the match-fixing scandal had forced him to video record his testimony before the premier investigating agency in June.Meanwhile, the CBI said it was not overtly perturbed that the former Indian cricketer secretly video recorded his three-hour-long examination before the agency, probing the match-fixing scandal.''We treated him as a gentleman and allowed him to appear before the investigating team without any frisking. We are not aware if he recorded the proceedings,'' the sources said.Though the CBI is trying to play down the act of Prabhakar, it has posed a question mark on the security scenario at the headquarters of the CBI, the premier investigating agency of the country.Asked whether Prabhakar's act amounted to a security lapse at the CBI headquarters, a senior CBI official maintained that in all good faith, the agency had not deemed it necessary to search Prabhakar or any of the other cricketers who appeared before the investigating team, led by Joint Director R N Sawani.Prabhakar told UNI, ''I did this because of my past experience with the Chandrachud Committee. I do not trust the CBI either. Whatever I have done is to safeguard my own interest.'' He alleged that Justice Y B Chandrachud never asked him the name of the cricketer who had offered him bribe to under perform during a tournament in Sri Lanka in 1994, but in his report, the committee had noted that Prabhakar had refused to disclose the name.''I never wanted the past to be repeated. I did it to ensure that CBI noted what I had told them,'' Prabhakar clarified saying that he had submitted the recorded tapes to BCCI's anti-corruption commissioner R Madhavan, a former CBI official. The most interesting aspect is that Prabhakar taped the deposition even as the agency was aware that he had secretly recorded his 'interviews' with cricketers, cricket administrators, commentators and government officials and film artists on prevalence of match-fixing in the game in India. He had even recorded his meeting with the then Union Sports Minister Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa at his office in the Sports Ministry. It is still not known, how he managed to take the camera to the minister's office, supposed to be a high-security zone. The video recording running into 16 cassettes was submitted to the CBI during his deposition. Prabhakar had appeared before the agency thrice in connection with the investigation by the CBI. The first time to name Kapil Dev, the second time to hand over the tapes and the third time to answer questions arising out of the agency's investigation vis-a-vis his role. The former all-rounder reportedly told Madhavan, who indicted him in his 340-page report, that he smuggled a small camera inside the CBI office at the CGO complex here. Prabhakar recorded the entire three hours of grilling session during which he asked questions on various aspects of the controversy.The content of the video tape submitted to Madhavan was not known. The investigating agency has so far not commented whether it had sought the tape's copy from the BCCI's anti-corruption commissioner to ascertain whether the recording was fake. About the content of the videotape, Madhavan had said, ''There was normal questioning going on.'' On the impact of the tape on CBI's investigation, he said, ''The tape is of no consequence. It is neither going to help Prabhakar, nor put the CBI in the dock. The CBI already has a signed statement by Prabhakar and that is going to stand.'' Mr Madhavan also felt that there was nothing illegal in Prabhakar's smuggling in the camera and recording the entire interrogation by the CBI. He had, however, wondered how he managed to do it. UNI

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