IOA secretary general Rajeev Mehta and unattached wrestling referee Virender Malik, who were arrested on different reasons, were today released after charges against them were dropped for lack of evidence, putting an end to their unsavoury ordeal.
The charges against both the Indian officials were dropped after the prosecution failed to produce enough evidence against the duo in the Glasgow Magistrate's Court. "Both Rajeev Mehta and Virender Malik have been liberated as the prosecution did not press the cases against them owing to lack of evidence," a spokeswoman of the Glasgow Magistrate's Court told PTI.
The decision to let off the two officials came as huge relief for the Indian contingent, which had to face a lot of embarrassment on the last day of the 20th Commonwealth Games because of the development.
While Mehta was arrested for alleged drunken driving, Malik, who is not a part of the official contingent, was facing a more serious charge of alleged sexual assault. The duo was, however, not staying with the official 215-strong contingent which was putting up at the Games village. Both of them were reportedly lodged at a local hotel.
An official of the Indian High Commission also confirmed the development.
"Charges against both of them have been dropped due to lack of evidence. They have been released without any charges being framed," the High Commission official said. The Indian Consulate in Edinburgh was liaising with the police on the matter.
The Consulate in Edinburgh had deputed an official to Glasgow to keep in close touch with the police authorities to ascertain full factual details of the case. A relieved Mehta later said that the entire case has been "represented in a wrong manner as he wasn't driving in a drunken state".
"The facts have been misrepresented and I have been projected in a wrong manner. I was not drunk and my test reports (alcohol intake) have all come negative. There is nothing in it to show that I was in a drunken state. I am thankful to the court that they didn't accept the evidences that were put forward," Mehta said after the charges were dropped against him.
Asked about what transpired on Saturday night, Mehta recollected the incident. "I had come out of a party and was on my way to somewhere else. Then the accident happened but I was not at fault. The girls who were inside the other car were driving on the wrong side of the road. That's the reason that the case didn't even come up for hearing as it was dropped at the prosecution level. There was nothing found in any of my medical reports and that's why there were no charges framed against me," he concluded.
Uttar Pradesh Olympic Association secretary Anandeshwar Pandey, who is part of the IOA delegation and was at the court, said the officials were released after primary investigation. "During primary investigation, they (Scotland Police) couldn't find enough evidence to frame charges. So they were let off without being produced before the court," Pandey said.
Elaborating on the incident, Pandey said that Mehta was driving a friend's car and there was a minor accident while coming out of the parking lot.