Observing that "time has not come" for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the Saradha chit fund scam, the Calcutta High Court Thursday refused to accept a plea in this regard but said it will consider it after fully hearing the matter.
A bench of Justices A.K. Banerjee and M.K. Chowdhury, which Thursday started hearing afresh a set of public interest litigations seeking a CBI probe into the scam, said it will hear the matter June 5, when the court reopens after the summer vacations (beginning Friday).
"As regards the question of CBI probe into the scam, we feel time has not come. We will have to consider the plea only after perusal of the pleadings by the respective parties," the bench observed.
"More arrests are expected but those will be of bookies and no other player will be arrested. Only these three players were involved and no batsman is involved," he said at a packed press conference here.
Delhi Police arrested IPL players S. Sreesanth and his Rajasthan Royals colleagues Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila for cheating and criminal conspiracy; besides, 11 bookies were also nabbed.
Neeraj Kumar said the three players will also be booked under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), which deals with combating organised crime and terrorism.
The Board of Cricket Control for India (BCCI) President N.Srinivasan said on Thursday that the spot-fixing culprits will face severe punishments.
Expressing shock and anger over the grave incident Sreenivasan said, " BCCI was shocked at the development and we will do everything that is necessary to address this issue."
He said: "We do not know what the FIR states and the exact charges. The Rajasthan Royals communicated to BCCI, they have zero tolerance. We will get more details from the police and then take further steps. One can't assume this will happen all the time."
"People involved are Ranji Trophy players and a Test player, that is what is shocking. We acted the moment we found out. We will take actions as per our rules and disciplinary procedures. I hope nobody esle is involved. We will not tolerate corruption in cricket," said Srinivasan.
Srinivasan in the meanwhile declined commenting on Sreesanth's father's allegations of MS Dhoni and Harbhajan Singh's involvement, he said the mere arrests of the cricketers prompted the board to act swiftly.
Put the guilty behind bars: Former cricketers
Shocked and saddened by the arrest of S Sreesanth and two other cricketers on the charges of spot-fixing in IPL matches, former cricketers on Thursday demanded that the guilty should be sent to jail and handed life bans.
Sreesanth and his two Rajasthan Royals teammates, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila, were arrested by Delhi police for questioning.
Neeraj Kumar also dismissed speculation that members of the underworld were involved. "We cannot say anything unless there is definite proof. To take the name of Dawood Ibrahim or Tiger Memon would be incorrect. There is no evidence to name any member of the underworld. Let me also clarify that the names used while talking are assumed names."
Neeraj Kumar said that there will be more arrests. When asked by a foreign reporter whether he could rule out foreign players being arrested, he joked, "Your countrymen can rest in peace" and added that "further arrests are going to be of bookies, not players."
When asked about the accusations made by Sreesanth's father about Dhoni, police commissioner of Delhi Neeraj Kumar said that Dhoni did not put the towel on Sreesanth's pants. Sreesanth received Rs.40 lakhs for spot-fixing.
In the match that took place yesterday between the Royals and Mumbai Indians, Ajit Chandila acted as a go in-between for Ankit Chavan and the bookies. Delhi police says Ankeet Chavan was promised Rs 60 lakh for giving away 14 runs in his second over.
The Delhi police have confirmed that 3 cricketers and 11 bookies have been arrested in connection with the IPL spot-fixing scandal.
The police have said the modus operandi which was used in the scandal is as follows:
There was an agreement between bookies and players that they will give away a certain amount of runs. Indications would also be given for the same by the players. These codes could be rotating watches, setting the field and putting on towels.
In the match between Rajasthan Royals and Pune Warriors that took place on May 5th, Ajit Chandila forgot to give these indications. This led to heated arguments between the bookies and Chandila.
In another match between the Kings XI Punjab and the Rajasthan Royals on May 9th, Sreesanth was involved. He agreed to give away 14 runs or more in the second over he bowled. He was told to put a towel in his pants and take time to begin his over. This allowed the bookies to indulge in heavy betting.
Dutt remained in his car for nearly 20 minutes before going into the TADA court. A huge crowd, including camera crews and on lookers surrounded his car. Director Mahesh Butt had to plead with the crowd to let Dutt through.
Sanjay Dutt reaches the TADA court to surrender in the 1993 Mumbai blast case. A huge crowd is present at the venue.
Dutt will serve out 42 months in jail. He is being accompanied by his sister, wife and a few friends from the film fraternity.
BCCI President N Srinivasan has insisted that the arrest of three players for spot-fixing has not tarnished the IPL beyond repair.
Speaking at a press conference, Srinivasan said, "I'm sad that a cricketer who has played Tests for India is involved. That doesn't mean everybody is corrupt. I don't agree that the IPL cannot continue or that the game of cricket should be stopped."
"BCCI was shocked that this has happened. We never expected this. It was a bolt from the blue. But one or two bad eggs here and there cannot sully the entire game," he added.
Asked whether any action was intended against the Rajasthan Royals franchise, he said, "Rajasthan Royals have communicated to the BCCI and issued a press release as well that they have zero tolerance for this. We are very glad to hear that."
Srinivasan promised that the action taken by the BCCI would prevent such incidents in the future. "We thought that when we made an example of some players last year, the message would be clear. It is truly sad but we will not lose faith. The action we take against these players will be a sufficient deterrent for the future," he said.
He, however, refused to comment on Sreesanth's father's allegation that Dhoni and Harbhajan were responsible for Sreesanth's woes.
Former Indian cricket captain Sourav Ganguly has called for a life ban if the troika accused of spot-fixing are found guilty.
"I am pretty disappointed and angry also. They’ll have to prove it. But if found guilty, they should be banned for life," he told CNN-IBN. "I feel sorry for Dravid. I played during an era of Tendulkar, Dravid, Dhoni, Sehwag, VVS, Kumble and you can’t put a finger on them," he added.
India TV has released the list of people who have been arrested in the IPL spot-fixing scandal. Curiously Sreesanth's name is missing from this list:
1. Chandresh Patel alias Chandbhai Shivlal Patel, resident of Andheri, Mumbai
2. Manak Upendra Bhatt, resident of Ahmedabad
3. Amit Ramgovind Singh, resident of Ahmedabad
4. S. S. Nambiar , resident of Kochi
5. Jiju Janardan, resident of Kochi
6. RR cricketer Ankit Anil Chavan, resident of Mahim
7. RR cricketer Ajit Giriraj Chandila, resident of Haryana
Meanwhile, Sanjay Dutt has left his home in Mumbai to surrender before the TADA court. He is being accompanied by his wife. The film fraternity has been visiting Dutt's residence from yesterday.
One of the bookies arrested for spot-fixing in IPL is Sreesanth's cousin, reports Times Now. Jiju Pokkan Janardhan was arrested along with Sreesanth and reportedly has links with Dawood Ibrahim's gang. He reportedly has played domestic cricket.
Former cricketer Sunil Gavaskar had this to say to NDTV on the IPL spot-fixing scandal:
"As a commentator, I feel like an idiot . We need to remember that people are innocent till proven guilty. The T-20 format is such that unorthodox things are tried, sometimes they come off, sometimes they don’t. I don’t think there has been anything in the IPL that has raised my eyebrows."
Kerala shocked over Sreesanth's arrest
The news of S. Sreesanth's arrest for alleged spot fixing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) has come as a shocker to his family, cricket administrators, politicians and the man on the street in Kerala.
The cricketer's mother reacted to the news by stating that her son has been trapped.
The BCCI's official stand on the IPL spot-fixing scandal:
The BCCI is shocked and saddened at the recent developments. The BCCI has zero tolerance to corruption. If the players are found guilty, they will be banned for life.
The captain of Rajasthan Royals, Rahul Dravid is meeting the team management, reports Times Now. 3 players from the team have been implicated in the IPL spot-fixing scandal.
The police suspect that the underworld could be involved in the IPL spot-fixing scandal.
Ajit Chandila allegedly met bookies in a mall, claim reports. His wife has claimed that her husband is innocent.
Sreesanth's father has come out in support of his son. He claims that Sreesanth was trapped by MS Dhoni and Harbhajan Singh in the spot fixing scandal.
“Dhoni had threatened him that he would never be taken back in the test side.” said his father to a Malayalam channel.
According to Times Now, the Delhi police discovered the involvement of Sreesanth, Chavan and Chandila while tracking Whatsapp and Blackberry Messenger. The Delhi police reportedly had 70 phones under surveillance during their investigation into spot fixing in this year's edition of the IPL.
The BCCI has suspended the three Rajasthan Royals players involved in IPL spot-fixing. The BCCI will set up a disciplinary committee headed by Arun Jaitley.
Earlier Sreesanth, Ankit Chavan and Ajit Chandila were arrested by the Delhi police.
World's smallest mobile home comes with 4ft living space
A mechanic from the UK has built a campervan, which has just 4ft of living space - making it the world's smallest mobile home.
The wacky invention dubbed the cramper van relies on pedal power to pull it along and has room for four seats, a stove, a sink, a table and a bed, the Sun reported.
Constructed by Dorset custom car fanatic Andy Saunders in two weeks for 1,000 pounds, the van is a mash-up of an old Bedford Bambi van and a Butlins-style pedal cart.
One of the seats inside the van folds down over the two-ring hob and sink.
The roof space extends out by 2ft 6ins, providing just enough room for a small bed.
10. 50 am:
China plays down border frictions with India
Days before the new Chinese premier's visit to India, China is playing down recent border tensions with its neighbor.
Vice Foreign Minister Song Tao said Thursday that disagreements along the disputed Himalayan frontier can be handled under existing mechanisms and should not affect overall relations. Song made no direct mention of a recent three-week standoff between border troops from the two sides that had threatened to overshadow Li's visit.
Li is going to India on Sunday in his first overseas trip since becoming premier.
The sides negotiated a peaceful conclusion to the standoff, although India's foreign minister last week said the two needed to work harder to avoid border flare-ups and resolve those that do happen more quickly.
India and China have had chilly relations since fighting a brief but bloody border war in 1962.
Angelina Jolie to have ovaries removed
Angelina Jolie, who won much praise for her revelation the she went double mastectomy, is now planning to undergo another surgery.
According to People magazine, the 37-year-old actress wants to have her ovaries removed to ensure that she remains cancer-free, News.com.au reported.
Jolie recently made an announcement about having both her breasts removed after discovering that she carried a faulty gene which put her at 87 percent chance of contracting breast cancer, which reduced that risk to 5 percent.
However, the doctors have still given Jolie a 50 per cent chance of developing ovarian cancer.
Explosion in Afghan capital shakes buildings
A powerful explosion has shaken buildings in Kabul and smoke is billowing east of the Afghan capital.
A police official says initial reports were that a car bomb exploded Thursday morning in front of a member of parliament's house east of the city. Officer Jahn Agha says there has been no confirmation of casualties.
Kabul provincial police chief Mohammad Ayub Salangi says a foreign convoy was the target.
More on the IPL spot-fixing scandal
The Rajasthan Royals team has issued a statement saying that they have zero tolerance for anything that is against the spirit of the game. The team is in touch with the BCCI on the matter.
'We are completely taken by surprise. We will fully cooperate in the investigations,' said the team.
Cricketer Sreesanth has been arrested by the Delhi police for spot fixing in IPL. Two other Rajasthan Royals players, Ankit Chavan and Ajit Chandila, have also been arrested. They are being brought to Delhi.
Three bookies have also been arrested, reports NDTV.
Moscow says no to gay pride parade
The Moscow mayor's office has refused to authorise a gay pride parade planned for May 25, and will thwart any unsanctioned action, an official said.
Gay activists filed a request earlier this week to stage a parade in the Russian capital, but the Moscow authorities said their application was unlikely to be approved.
Sports minister Jitendra Singh has said that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will pave way to lift the ban on the Indian Olympic Association (IOA). He said the IOC will work with the government in drafting a sports bill. The first draft of this bill will be out by June 30th. The IOC also will be an observer when the IOA elections take place.
"The government won't interfere in sports federations," said the minister.
Dutt will surrender before the court tomorrow. He will be later sent to Thane, Yeravada, Nashik or other jail in the state, in line with the court directive to undergo his remaining three-and-a-half-year jail term, after being convicted by the Supreme Court in the 1993 Bombay blasts case.
Police sources clarified Dutt could not be put in the Arthur Road Prison in south central Mumbai, as it was meant for undertrials.
Dutt, who had spent one-and-a-half years in jail in the past, would have to live a simple life on a work and earn’ basis in prison. According to police sources, Dutt is entitled to a daily payment of Rs 25 a day, which can be increased to Rs 50. Besides, family members can give Dutt Rs 1,500 a month.