New Delhi: Nov 16, 2011
Taking a leaf out of the swiftness with which London's Metropolitan Police cracked the 2010 spot-fixing case involving three Pakistani cricketers, the Delhi Police is now geared up to solve the 2000 match-fixing case in the next 4-5 months.
The Delhi Police this month received a reply from the British authorities to a 2007 "letter rogatory" that sought details of alleged bookie and London-based businessman Sanjeev Chawla, the key accused in the case.
The reply comes as a relief for Delhi Police, which was struggling to piece together a chargesheet 11 years after blowing the lid off the match-fixing, which also involved then South African captain Hansie Cronje, who later died and his team mates Herschelle Gibbs and Nicky Boje. Former Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin and his team mates Manoj Prabhakar, Ajay Jadeja and Ajay Sharma were also allegedly involved.
"The probe is on and the charge sheet is yet to be filed. We are hopeful of completing the investigation in four-five few months," Deputy Commissioner of Police Ashok Chand told IANS.
He also said police are awaiting a report from the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) on the tapped conversation between Cronje and Chawla.
"The case will be solved very soon," reiterated Chand, who is credited with solving cases such as the Red Fort attack and the Parliament attack.
On April 7, 2000, Delhi Police made public a tapped conversation between Cronje and Chawla. Cronje and Azharuddin were banned for life by their national boards while Gibbs was banned for six months.
In 2000, Delhi Police registered an FIR against Cronje, Chawla, south Delhi-based businessman Rajesh Kalra, the late music baron Gulshan Kumar's brother Kishan Kumar, and Sunil Dara, a Delhi-based bookie living in West Asia.
Kalra, Kumar and Dara were arrested but they were released on bail later. Two years later, Cronje died in a plane crash, making things difficult for the investigators.
The former South African captain had received immunity from criminal prosecution in South Africa in exchange for his confession.
Gibbs and Boje, after much dilly-dallying, travelled to India and cooperated with the Delhi Police.
The investigators have asked the banks in South Africa to give the details of accounts of Gibbs and Boje. "We are yet to receive any reply from them," said a senior police officer. (IANS)