Narvekar still out despite rejecting bail

| 23 April 2001 22:59 IST

Dayanand Narvekar, president of the Goa Cricket Association and former deputy chief minister, got a respite for the third consecutive day in spite of his anticipatory bail application being rejected by the sessions and district court on Friday, in the case of bogus tickets of the final ODI held between India and Australia.

While the sessions court had granted him relief to approach the high court by Monday evening, hearing on the petition could not be completed today. Along with him, petition of GCA secretary Vinod Phadke is also being taken up.

The high court, while extending the relief till tomorrow, has however directed both Narvekar and Phadke to remain present at the Margao police station for interrogation and also in the court for the hearing tomorrow evening.

Adhik Shirodkar, who flew down from Mumbai to argue on behalf of Narvekar, contended that his client is being harassed with a sole intention to tarnish and malign his public image. Neither his house is raided nor his accounts are frozen till date because he is innocent, he argued.

Claiming that the president is being unnecessarily held responsible when treasurer Rama Shankardas has already admitted of printing bogus tickets and even money was found in his house, he also felt that Narvekar is tried by the media while the BJP government is not stable.

Nelson Britto, the Margao district and sessions judge, however while passing the judgement of rejecting bail applications stated that the president being one of the leading politician and the secretary being his lieutenant, no successful investigation could be carried out without interrogating them in the custody.

"Considering status of both the accused, their interrogation in custody is compulsory. The accused are bound to tamper with the evidence, if released on bail", stated the order.

Making a mention of a statement by government counsel Avinash Lawande that India lost the match and Goa lost its credibility at the final ODI held in Goa, Britto hoped that the police will now at least maintain and prove its credibility in investigating the case thoroughly.

B L Maneshinde, while arguing for GCA secretary Phadke, however termed it as a political move by their opponents within the GCA to take over the association. "If India had won the match, the controversy would have not arisen", he said.

Meanwhile, remand to police custody for former GCA treasurer Shankardas as well as ticket contractor Chinmay Fallari has been extended, while other three accused including Narvekar's brother-in-law Eknath Naik, who was unauthorised agent selling tickets, have been released.

The police suspect that the whole scam began from the stage of tampering with tender documents and at least 25,000 extra tickets worth around Rs one crore were printed and sold by the GCA and the contractor while the stadium capacity was only 27,300.

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