Bookie Sanjeev Chawla, Key Accused In 2000 Match-Fixing Scandal Arrested

Cheryl Sanders
February 14, 2020

Chawla, a British national as per Delhi Police charge sheet, absconding hitherto in the match fixing case, was linked with several global cricketers, including Indian players, sources in the crime branch of the Delhi Police revealed.

Chawla's extradition was approved by the UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid in February past year under the India-UK Extradition Treaty 1992. In 2016, Samirbhai Vinubhai Patel, who was wanted in a case related to the 2002 Gujarat riots, had voluntarily agreed to be extradited.

"As Chawla had slipped to London, he could not be interrogated and subsequently the CDRs connecting the then Indian cricketers with the global bookie was not pursued", a former commissioner of Delhi police told IANS.

Chawla is alleged to have played a central role in conspiring with Hansie Cronje, the late South African cricket team captain, to fix a South African tour to India in February-March 2000. Chawla had allegedly suggested to Cronje that he could make a lot of money if he agreed 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.

Chawla had sought to argue against his extradition to India on human rights grounds in the United Kingdom courts ever since his arrest back in June 2016.

Hours after suspected bookie Sanjeev Chawla moved the Delhi High Court to challenge his 12-day custodial remand Friday, the court sent him to Tihar prison till further orders. In January 2019, the Westminster Magistrates' Court, which had blocked the extradition in 2017 on human interest grounds, eventually asked Javid's office to take the final decision.

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

After undergoing a medical examination at the Delhi's Indira Gandhi airport, he was taken to the Tihar jail complex where he is likely to remain in custody for a number of months before facing trial.

According to the court documents filed by Chawla in the UK High Court, he is a Delhi-born businessman.

After his Indian passport was revoked in 2000, he obtained a British passport five years later.

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