Sanjeev Chawla, key accused in 2002 fixing scandal, extradited from UK

Sanjeev Chawla was allegedly involved in a match-fixing racket that was busted by the Delhi Police

The trial court on Thursday sent Chawla to 12-day custodial interrogation by Delhi Police, noting the matter was to be probed further for which he has to be to various cities across the nation.

Chawla is one of the main accused in the 2000 match-fixing scandal that also involved former South African captain Hansie Cronje.

The Delhi Police Crime Branch will bring bookie Sanjeev Chawla to India on the intervening night of Wednesday and Thursday, a top-placed source in Delhi Police told IANS.

Chawla's extradition was approved by the UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid in February previous year under the India-UK Extradition Treaty 1992.

A previous extradition of Samirbhai Vinubhai Patel, wanted in connection with the Godhra riots in Gujarat, from the United Kingdom to India in October 2016 had been uncontested and therefore did not have to go through various levels of appeals in the United Kingdom courts.

A top Delhi Police official, on condition of anonymity, said: "In order to extradite Sanjeev Chawla to India within a month, the Delhi Police Crime Branch team went to London several times".

The cricketers' phone numbers are said to have appeared on Chawla's phone records between January and March 2000 - the period he was allegedly involved in match-fixing talks with Cronje. The Delhi Police intercepted a conversation between the blacklisted bookie Chawla and Cronje, in which it was learnt that the South African captain had accepted money to lose matches.

It was prompted after England all-rounder Chris Lewis alleged he had been offered a £300,000 bribe to England players at an Old Trafford Test against New Zealand in August 1999.

In January this year, Chawla contested the extradition on humanitarian grounds in the Royal Courts of Justice, London, but lost the appeal.

Following an extradition trial in October 2017, Westminster Magistrates' Court in London had concluded that while Chawla had a prima facie case to answer, his human rights could not be guaranteed in Tihar.

In India, he will be lodged in Delhi's Tihar Jail.

According to the court documents filed by Chawla in the UK High Court, he is a Delhi-born businessman. India also guaranteed medical facilities and protection from intra-prisoner violence at Tihar Jail.



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