Chandresh Patel, accused of being involved in the IPL betting racket, was reprieved by a special CBI-court in Ahmedabad on Thursday and discharged from custody. The judge V R Ravel concluded there was not enough evidence to insinuate him after hearing arguments in his defense, as reported by The Times of India .
Patel had been arrested in relation to the money-laundering probe against Afroz Fatta, who is the main accused in a ‘hawala’ scam worth upwards of Rs. 40 crore. The investigation of the case led to charges against several cricket bookies, Enforcement Directorate officials and middlemen, including its now-suspended joint director J P Singh. The CBI had asserted that the inspection revealed Patel had entered into conspiracy with bookie Anil Naukar, receiving a sum of Rs 1.5 crore for him to settle a dispute with Singh.
The legal representative of Patel advocate Rohit Verma argued that the chargesheet did not state any concrete evidence, nevermind prima facie facts, which suggests his client’s involvement in corruption or conspiring. It merely indicated that Patel was aware of the reported offence, but did not designate what further role he had to play in the matter. He further pointed out the untrustworthy nature of Naukar by citing two differing accounts he had given of the incident.
Judge Raval accepted the defence, highlighting the fact that witness statements had been collected a year after the incident. He thus declared that there were no documents to prove Patel played middleman for the bookie and dismissed the case.