© Getty Images (representational photo)
© Getty Images (representational photo)

New Delhi: Two men accused of selling tickets of a 2011 Indian Premier League (IPL) match at inflated price have been acquitted by a Delhi court which said there were shortcomings in the police investigation which caused dent in the prosecution story. Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sudhanshu Kaushik let off the two accused, who were charged with the offences of cheating by impersonation under IPC, while noting that the police did not make efforts to include any independent witness during the probe. “There are infirmities in probe which cause dent in the prosecution’s story. Record shows that although the recovered tickets and the currency notes were sealed the seal was not handed over to an independent person. Notice slapped on Saurashtra Cricket Association for land ‘encroachment’

“Moreover, the recovery is doubtful as no genuine efforts were made to join public witnesses. Contradictory versions have come on record about the efforts made by the police to join pubic witnesses,” the court said. It further said, “Record does not suggest that any efforts were made by the police officials to join passersby or any person from the locality in probe.”   Sri Lanka announce 17-member squad for England tour 2016

The court rejected the explanation given by police that the investigating officer did not note down the name or address of those persons who refused to join investigation, saying, “The stereo-typed explanation given by police officials for not joining independent witness does not inspire confidence.” The judge said, “I have reached a conclusion that prosecution has miserably failed to prove the charges against either of the accused. There is no evidence to prove impersonation and cheating. No independent witness was joined and investigation has been done in a casual manner.”

“No investigation has been done in this direction. All these shortcoming lead to the inevitable conclusion that charges have not been proved. The result is obvious. Accused stand acquitted from the charges framed against them,” the court said. According to the prosecution, crime branch of Delhi Police conducted a raid on a tip off and caught the accused duo selling match tickets at double the price by impersonating as IPL officers on April 23, 2011 near Ferozshah Kotla stadium.

The police, who had plotted a decoy customer to purchase tickets from the accused, found they were selling tickets worth Rs 500 for Rs 1,000, it said. The head constable, who had posed as a decoy customer in the raid, told the court that both the accused possessed over 100 IPL tickets. The accused were arrested for the offences under sections 419 (cheating by impersonation) and 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) of the IPC. During the trial, the accused denied the allegations and claimed they were falsely implicated by police.