On Monday, a British court cleared the extradition of Sanjeev Kumar Chawla, and the Scotland Yard officers are preparing to hand over him to their counterparts in Delhi Police by Thursday. Sanjeev Kumar a key accused in the cricket match-fixing scandal involving former South African captain Hansie Cronje in 2000.
The latest development comes as a great success for India as it has long been trying to bring back the alleged bookie to face match-fixing charges. The 50-year-old Chawla was given an extradition order by the Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London. Officials said that the final legal paperwork in the case is now being concluded for the handover to take place at Heathrow Airport this week.
As per court documents, the Delhi-born business had moved to the UK on a business visa in 1996. Chawla faces charges to have played a central role in conspiring with Hansie Cronje, the late South African cricket team captain, to fix a South African tour to India in February-March 2000. After the accusation, India revoked his passport in 2000 and Chawla obtained a UK passport in 2005, and he is now a British Citizen. London police arrested him in 2016.
Last week, the European Court of Human Rights rejected Chawla’s appeal against being extradited to India and cleared the way to handover him to India. This is going to be the first high-profile extradition of its kind under the India-UK Extradition Treaty, signed in 1992.
After reaching Delhi, he is likely to undergo the required medical examinations before being taken to Tihar Jail and held in custody. The High Court said it is convinced with the assurances given by India regarding the safety of prison conditions in Delhi’s Tihar Jail as it dismissed the lower court’s order against extraditing Chawla. India also promised medical facilities, security, personal space and protection from intra-prisoner violence in the jail.