Mumbai: After almost two weeks of being in police custody in the IPL betting case, BCCI chief N Srinivasan's son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan and actor Vindoo Dara Singh were on Tuesday granted bail by a Mumbai court. All others arrested by the Mumbai Police in the betting scandal including bookies Ramesh Vyas, Alpesh Patel and Prem Tarneja have also been granted bail.
The court has granted them conditional bail on sureties of Rs 25,000 each. All the accused have been told not to leave the country and to appear before the Mumbai Crime Branch every alternate day.
If the bail order reaches the police by 5 pm, Vindoo and Meiyappan will walk out of the jail on Tuesday itself. The bail has been granted on parity with two others who got bail earlier in the case.
Vindoo Dara Singh's lawyer Satish Maneshinde alleged politics in the BCCI. "It's a case where people who've been accused of betting could be placed behind bars for 15 days, when betting is a non-bailable offence. In the past one month you have seen how people not related to the case have been pressured to resign. Even Dalmiya had to undergo a lot of trauma," Maneshinde said.
Sources in the Mumbai Police have told CNN-IBN that Vindoo has admitted to being in touch with Kolkata Knight Riders CEO Venky Mysore. Sources add that so far there is no evidence to prove that Vindoo got match-related information from the KKR CEO.
Meiyappan and Vindoo filed bail pleas soon after the metropolitan magistrate remanded them in judicial custody till June 14 on Monday. Urging the court to grant them bail, the duo's lawyers argued that their custodial interrogation was not required.
Meiyappan's lawyer Aabad Ponda argued that Meiyappan was not involved in match-fixing or spot-fixing. "The one case is that of placing bets with Vindoo. Placing bets is a bailable offence. All the sections levelled against him are bailable except three - 420, 466 and 468 of the IPC. It is not the case that Meiyappan forged documents hence 466 and 468 are not applicable," he argued.
Relying on a Supreme Court judgment, Ponda contended the basic rule is that in a case which does not fetch life imprisonment, the accused should be granted bail. None of the sections under which Meiyappan has been charged with invite life sentence, he said.
"Meiyappan responded to the summons issued to him by the police. There is no question of him absconding. Tapping of my phones and all other evidence has been taken by the police even prior to Meiyappan's arrest," Ponda argued.
Advocate Satish Maneshinde, appearing for Vindoo, argued that the allegation against the arrested actor can be at the most only for contacting bookies but it cannot be said that he was part of the larger conspiracy.
(With additional information from PTI)