The Karnataka High Court ruled that Match fixing does not amount to offence of cheating under Indian Penal Code.
K.Prakasha, the Police Inspector, Bengaluru, while interrogating the cricket players, coaches and owners of franchises in connection with a Crime came to know about match fixing of the KPL cricket matches held in between 15th and 31st August of the year 2019 and gave a report of it to the Cubbon Park Police Station. This resulted in FIR being registered and ultimately charge sheet being filed against the petitioners and some other accused.
All the counsel for the petitioners urged that match fixing is not an offence, nor has it been defined to be an offence in any law and offence under section 420 of IPC cannot be imputed against the petitioners for, the essential ingredients for the said offence to constitute are not forthcoming in the charge sheet. Even if it is assumed for argument’s sake that the petitioners did involve in match fixing, it will not constitute an offence and at best it is breach of the Code of Conduct.
Advocate Hashmath Pasha contended that the very registration of FIR is bad because respondent made a report to the Cubicon Park police based on some information he elicited or extracted from the accused while interrogating him in connection with another case. But, the information the respondent extracted while interrogating the accused has not been produced and because of this faulty procedure, FIR deserves to be quashed.
The single judge bench of Justice Sreenivas Harish Kumar noted that if section 2 (7) of Karnataka Police Act is seen, its explanation very clearly says that game of chance does not include. any athletic game or sport. Cricket is a sport and therefore even if betting takes place, it cannot be brought within the ambit of definition of ‘gaming’ found in Karnataka Police Act.
The court said that the allegations found in the charge sheet do not constitute an offence under section 420 IPC and therefore offence under section 120B cannot be invoked in the facts and circumstances.
The court came to the conclusion that all these petitions deserve to be allowed and quashed the proceedings against the petitioners.
Case title: Abrar kazi v/s State of Karnataka and Ors.
Citation: In Crl. P. No. 2929/2020