Charge sheet filed in 2000 match-fixing case

Charge sheet filed in 2000 match-fixing case

After 13 years, the Delhi Police filed a charge sheet in the 2000 match-fixing case on Monday. The charge sheet accuses former South Africa captain Hansie Cronje of taking money from Indian bookies to fix matches.

Cronje, Sanjeev Chawla, a London-based bookie, Rajesh Kalra, a Delhi-based businessman, music baron Gulshan Kumar’s brother Kishan Kumar, Sunil Dara, a bookie now living in the Gulf and Mohan Khatter, another bookie now living in the US have been named as accused in the case.

“All of them have been charged with Sections 420 (cheating) and 120 B (criminal conspiracy) which attracts seven years of maximum punishment,” said a police officer.

The police have made Chawla the prime accused in the case. “He, along with Khatter, have been absconding since the scandal came into light,” said a police officer, adding that they have appealed to the court for necessary action to get both of them extradited.

The police said Chawla was introduced to Cronje by Hamid Cassim, a Gujarati origin businessman settled in South Africa, in 2000. Chawla was in constant touch with Cronje and also stayed with him at the same hotel during the 2000 cricket series between India and South Africa. “In fact, Chawla gave a mobile phone to Cronje which was bought by Kalra,” said the officer.

The police also stated in the 93-page charge sheet that Chalwa had paid Rs 1.20 crore to Cronje in two instalments of Rs 60 lakh each.

The police said the charge sheet was based on a report of the King’s Commission of Inquiry, set up by the South Africa cricket board, Cronje’s confession and call intercepts. After Cronje confessed, he received immunity from criminal prosecution in South Africa.

The names of cricketers Herschelle Gibbs and Nicky Boje were not mentioned in the charge sheet. On why Boje and Gibbs were not named, Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar said: “Primarily, because there is no evidence against them.”

On Indian cricketers Mohammad Azharuddin and Ajay Jadeja not being named in the case, he said they have only probed into the criminal case of which they had the transcript and taped conversation. “I probed into them during the CBI preliminary enquiry but criminality couldn’t be established against them,” said Kumar.

He said Kishan Kumar is a punter and bookie. The police, however, did not name Mukesh Gupta, who, according to a CBI report on match-fixing, was close to Cronje. According to sources, Mukesh is the main person who ran the match-fixing racket. However, he is free and running a jewellery shop in south Delhi.

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