Court takes cognisance of charge sheet in 2000 match fixing

Court takes cognisance of charge sheet in 2000 match fixing

A Delhi court today took cognisance of the charge sheet filed against six persons, including former South African captain Hansie Cronje, by the city police which said he was paid Rs.1.2 crore in two instalments for fixing matches 13 years back.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Amit Bansal took cognisance of the charge sheet filed yesterday by the Crime Branch of Delhi Police in which the names of Cronje's compatriot cricketers Herschelle Gibbs and Nicky Boje have been left out.

The police, in its 93-page charge sheet, has named Cronje, London-based bookie Sanjeev Chawla, Delhi-based bookies Rajesh Kalra and Sunil Dara alias Bittu, Manmohan Khattar, and Kishan Kumar, brother of slain T-Series founder Gulshan Kumar, as accused in the case and has chargesheeted them for offences of cheating and criminal conspiracy under the IPC.

The court today issued summonses for October 25 to Kalra, Kumar and Sunil, who are presently out on bail in connection with the case.

"In view of the submissions and record, cognisance of the offences under section 420 (cheating)/120-B (criminal conspiracy) IPC is taken. Issue summons to accused number 1, 2, 3 (Kalra, Kumar and Sunil) with notice to their respective sureties through the investigating officer for next date of hearing," the court said and fixed the matter for October 25.

The court abated the proceedings against Cronje, who was indicted by the Kings Commission of Inquiry in South Africa, in view of his death in a plane crash in 2002.

During the hearing, police told the court that Kalra, Kumar and Sunil are out on bail while two other accused, Chawla and Khattar, are residents of UK and USA respectively and are hiding there.

The investigating officer said that open non-bailable warrants have already been issued against Chawla and Khattar.

Police also told the court that soon the steps would be taken for issuance of process under section 82 (proclamation for person absconding) of the CrPC and extradition proceedings against the two absconding accused.

The police, in its charge sheet, had said that Gibbs had accepted before the Kings Commission of Inquiry, constituted in South Africa to probe the match fixing scandal, that he was offered money by Cronje for under performance while Boje had denied his involvement in the saga.

It had said there is "sufficient evidence" to prove that the accused had entered into a conspiracy to fix matches played here between India and South Africa in February-March 2000.

"From the investigation conducted so far, there is sufficient evidence to prove the accused persons had entered into a criminal conspiracy to fix the cricket matches played between India and South Africa from February 16, 2000 to March 20, 2000 in India," the charge sheet has said.

Referring to the report of Kings Commission of Inquiry, the police has said it revealed that money had changed hands and went to Cronje for fixing cricket matches between India and South Africa.

According to the charge sheet, Kishan Kumar had said that Chawla had paid Rs 1.2 crore to Cronje in two instalments of Rs 60 lakh each for fixing the matches.
The charge sheet said Gibbs had told the Commission that Cronje had offered him money for scoring less than 20 runs in the match.

The police, in its charge sheet, which also contains 67 sets of documents, has named 65 persons as witnesses in the case.

The agency has said that surveillance and interception of calls led to cracking of the case and added that forensic reports of voice of the accused persons have matched with the sample voices and it "nails the guilt of the accused".

It has said Chawla, who had played the "most vital role" in the commission of crime, had gone to London from India on March 15, 2000 and never came back and was operating from the United Kingdom.

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