The Delhi police today played out intercepts of phone calls that they say clearly establish underworld don Dawood Ibrahim's links with spot-fixing in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Watch Video
The Delhi police claimed that the tapes, played out as evidence mainly against Rajasthan Royals player Ajit Chandila, featured calls between Dawood Ibrahim and Javed Chotani - allegedly the key link between Dawood and Indian bookies. (Also read: Dravid helps cops analyse each Sreesanth delivery)
29-year-old off-spinner Ajit Chandila was one of the three Royals players arrested for spot-fixing on May 16 and charged under a stringent law - the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).
But while Chandila remains in custody, the other two players, S Sreesanth and Ankit Chavan, were granted bail along with 18 bookies, due to lack of evidence under MCOCA.
The police claim that Chandila was in touch with Chotani.
In one of the calls played out in court, a voice purported to be Dawood's, discusses a deal worth 7-8 million with Chotani. But in none of the tapes is the Karachi and Dubai-based underworld boss heard directly mentioning spot-fixing.
In another conversation dated April 14 this year, two bookies were heard discussing the flow of hawala money from Pakistan to India and vice versa.
The police told the court that they had taken the help of Rajasthan Royals captain Rahul Dravid to analyse whether the accused players had underperformed in specific matches mentioned by bookies in the calls. The skipper may now be a prosecution witness.
The phone calls played out today also revealed signs discussed by bookies for accused players, specifically Chandila, to indicate that they were fixing an over during a match - like wearing a white wristwatch or kissing their locket.
While phone intercepts are not admissible as evidence in court, the police argue that they had taken prior permission to produce them in court, and they have enough evidence.
The police have also said in court that statements of Rajasthan Royal captain Rahul Dravid and team managers were taken for their analysis of whether there was underperformance in these matches.
The Delhi Police had on May 16 arrested three cricketers - S Sreesanth, Chandila and Ankeet Chavan of Rajasthan Royal's - on charges of spot-fixing. The three had been charged under the stringent MCOCA, with the police claiming involvement of underworld dons Dawood Ibrahim and Chhota Shakeel.
The sessions court had granted bail to Sreesanth, Chavan and 18 others due to lack of evidence to be charged under MCOCA. However, Chandila remains in custody.