Influx of hawala money and involvement of terrorist elements in betting and fixing of sports is causing serious threat to national security, a report of a high-level panel said Monday in the Indian Supreme Court while recommending setting up of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe such cases.
“It is necessary that the Supreme Court may create a special investigating team (SIT) or a joint investigation team (JIT) so as to include officers from all specialised agencies such as enforcement directorate, Director of revenue intelligence, income tax authorities etc.
The JIT may have either the CBI or the NIA as the nodal agency. The SIT or the JIT will take over all pending cases and investigate all available information in the various tapes and submit its report to the Supreme Court within a stipulated time frame so as to obtain appropriate orders for prosecution and trial, the report of a three-member committee headed by former Punjab and Haryana Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal said.
In a separate but concurring report Nilay Dutta, a member in the committee said, “The consolidated set of recommendations and suggestions in this report are thus aimed at ensuring that corruption/malpractice such as those that have already been disclosed in the report, be eradicated from the game of cricket and in particular, the IPL be cleansed.”
Besides justice Mudgal, other member of the Committee L Nageshwar Rao, who is also the Additional Solicitor General, agreed with Dutta that there is no consolidate uniform law applicable to the entire country and law similar to MCOCA be placed to deal with the menace of betting and fixing in sports.
“The status of law in regard to betting and fixing has created operational impediment on the part of investigating and prosecuting agencies in combating these corrupt influences in the sport.
“The law must provide for stringent deterrent punishments similar provisions as in section 18 of the MCOCA…This is necessary because influx of hawala money and involvement of terrorist elements in matter of betting and fixing of sports is causing serious threat to national security,” the report said.
Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act, 1999 (MCOCA) is the law enacted to combat organised crime and terrorism.
“In view of the national interest involved, it would be necessary to explore the options available to Parliament and Legislature of various states to adopt procedure stipulated in Article 252 of the Constitution of India,” it added.
The committee said, “betting and fixing racket in the sports functions most efficiently as one well-oiled machine throughout the country”.
“The law so enacted must be applicable uniformly in the country and should stipulate the creation of an independent investigating agency, a dedicated prosecuting directorate and separate judicial forum for expeditious trials,” it said.
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