New Delhi : Former test cricketer Maninder Singh, arrested Tuesday for possessing drugs, was granted bail Wednesday but his drug supplier Saim Siddiqui, a former Delhi Ranji player, was remanded in two days' police custody.
Special Judge S.C. Kaushik of anti-narcotics court at Karkardooma in East Delhi granted bail to Maninder Singh on a personal bond of Rs.50,000 with a surety of the same amount.
The judge held that Maninder was in possession of one and a half grams of cocaine that was below the stipulated three grams for personal consumption and attracted lighter charges of drug abuse under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.
The court, however, remanded Siddiqui, presently imparting cricket coaching to children at the prestigious National Sports Club of India, in police custody for two days as he had 100 grams of marijuana in his possession.
Possession of drugs above the three grams is deemed to be a quantity for commercial transaction and attracts non-bailable serious charges of drug peddling under the NDPS Act.
Police had sought seven days' police custody for Siddiqui arguing that he is to be interrogated and taken to various places in the neighbouring states to unearth the larger drug syndicate operating in the national capital region.
The Delhi Police Anti-Narcotics Cell arrested Maninder with Saim Siddiqui during a raid at his Gagan Vihar residence in east Delhi Tuesday evening.
They were arrested while exchanging the drugs. Maninder used to procure drugs from Siddiqui, who is suspected to be purchasing the same from a south Delhi based drug peddler and other places in the national capital region.
Maninder represented India in 35 Test matches and 59 one-day internationals. With his slow left-arm orthodox spin, he was considered an heir to Bishan Singh Bedi, who then held the record as India's leading spinner in terms of wickets.
Though now retired from active cricketing, Maninder is still connected with the game as a commentator.
Maninder played international cricket for India for 11 years. He made his Test debut against Pakistan in 1983 at Karachi. His ODI debut, also in the same year, was against Zimbabwe in New Delhi. He has to his name 88 scalps in Tests and 66 in ODIs.
Siddiqui had played for Delhi Ranji team.