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Hearing on infamous 2000 match-fixing scandal to be held on May 20

Hansie-Cronje
Former South African captain Hansie Cronje was involved in the match-fixing scandal of 2000 © Getty Images

New Delhi: Feb 4, 2014

A court in New Delhi on Tuesday fixed May 20 for the hearing of the 2000 match-fixing scandal case involving former South African captain Hansie Cronje and five others and asked the Delhi Police to provide a copy of the charge sheet and all the documents annexed with it to the accused.

The matter came up for hearing before Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sanjay Khanagwal and the court posted it for May 20 for scrutiny of documents.

Earlier, the police had supplied the charge sheet to Delhi-based bookies Rajesh Kalra and Sunil Dara alias Bittu, who are presently out on bail in connection with the case and had appeared in the court complying with its summons.

The court, on July 23, 2013, had taken cognizance of the charge sheet filed by the Crime Branch of Delhi Police against six persons, including  Cronje, in which it had said he was paid Rs 1.2 crore in two installments for fixing matches nearly 14 years back.

The names of Cronje’s compatriot cricketers, Herschelle Gibbs and Nicky Boje were left out of the chargesheet.

The police, in its 93-page charge sheet, has named Cronje, Kalra, Dara, Kishan Kumar, brother of slain T-Series founder Gulshan Kumar as accused.

Besides them, London-based bookie Sanjeev Chawla and Manmohan Khattar are also named as accused in the case and police have chargesheeted them for offences of cheating and criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The court has 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.

Earlier, police had told the court that the two other accused, Chawla and Khattar, are residents of United Kingdom (UK) and United States of America (USA) respectively, and are hiding there.

The investigating officer had said that open non-bailable warrants have already been issued against them.

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

Police, in its charge sheet, has 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.

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,” said the charge sheet.

Referring to the report of Kings Commission of Inquiry, the police had 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 installments of Rs 60 lakh each for fixing the matches.

It said Gibbs had told the Commission that Cronje had offered him money for scoring less than 20 runs in the match.

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

It had said Chawla, who had played the “most vital role” in the commission of the 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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