Bookmaker Sanjeev Chawla, who was implicated in a match-fixing scandal that also involved former South African captain Hansie Cronje, will likely be extradited to India this year.
The Westminster magistrates court in England has recommended Chawla’s extradition after revising an October 2017 ruling that had prevented the move.
The court said that conditions in Delhi’s Tihar Jail did not pose any ‘real risk’ to the 50-year-old Chawla’s human rights.
‘I am satisfied that there is a prima facie case. The affidavit of Bhisham Singh, the deputy commissioner of police, dated 18 [May 2015] also contains a very detailed summary of the evidence,’ said Judge Rebecca Crane.
‘There is clear evidence sufficient to make a case requiring an answer that the requested person acted with others to fix the outcome of cricket matches by providing money to members of the South African cricket team.’
Chawla reportedly moved to the United Kingdom in 1996 – and became a British citizen in 2005.
The case will soon go to home secretary Sajid Javid for a for a formal extradition order.
Delhi police caught Cronje attempting to fix matches during South Africa’s tour of India in 2000. They taped his phone conversations with bookmakers. Before the third ODI in Faridabad, Cronje was heard telling Chawla that teammate Pieter Strydom and others would fix, too.
Strydom has since been cleared of wrongdoing.
‘The thing I regret is, I was not allowed to speak to Hansie. It would have been nice to ask him, “Why is my name on the tape if there is a tape?” Why did you mention me Hansie? Why was I mentioned in the one-day series when you didn’t even approach me in the one-day series?” That is something that can’t be answered,’ Strydom told ESPNcricinfo in a April 2018.
Cronje played 68 Tests and 188 ODIs between 1992 and 2000 – and died in a plane crash in 2002.