Bookie Mehta remanded till June 8

Published: Thursday, May 26, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Mumbai:Suspected cricket bookie Shobhan Mehta alias Shobhan Kalachowkie was today remanded to judicial custody till June 8 by a local court in an alleged match-fixing case. Earlier, Mehta was in police custody but today he was remanded to judicial custody.

Mehta pleaded for bail but his petition will be heard later. The court had disallowed his bail plea earlier on the ground that investigation was incomplete.

Seeking his custody, police alleged that investigations had revealed his nexus with bookies in Pakistan and Dubai. Police also said Mehta had to be confronted with co-accused and that probe was still incomplete.

Mehta was arrested by the Economic Offence Wing (EOW) of city police on May 17 on the charge of allegedly indulging in cricket betting and match-fixing, after his anticipatory bail was rejected by the sessions court.

Mehta has been booked under Section 420 of IPC (cheating) and under provisions of Indian Telegraph Act and Gambling Act.

EOW had earlier arrested three co-accused in the gambling case -- Ramesh Vyas, Tushar Trambak Gandhi and Nemichand Kanungo.

According to police, investigations had revealed that Mehta used mobile phones to take bets on the cricket matches. Police also alleged that Mehta used to call certain persons in Pakistan, UAE and to Dubai, and they need to probe if those persons were also involved with betting.

Defence lawyer I A Bagaria opposed Mehta's custody saying that the sections under Indian Telegraph Act and Gambling Act, under which he was booked, were bailable, except under Section 420 (cheating) of IPC.

Bagaria said police had seized all the instruments allegedly used in placing bets and making international phone calls and hence Mehta's custody was not required.

Police first arrested Ramesh Vyas, proprietor of R B Communication Centre on February 4, 2005, which has MTNL license. According to police, Vyas was misusing phone lines by installing certain software.

A case was registered against him under the Telegraph Act, Gambling Act and Indian Penal Code.

Co-accused Tushar Gandhi was arrested by police on March 12 and Nemichand Kanugo was arrested on April 28 for the same alleged offence.

Subsequently, all the three accused were released on bail by a metropolitan magistrate.

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