Speaking to the media after getting 12-day custody of bookie Sanjeev Chawla, DCP Delhi Crime Branch Ram Gopal Naik on Thursday explained the sequence of events over the years that led to his extradition to India from the United Kingdom.
He thanked the Home Ministry, External Affairs Ministry and the Indian High Commission in London for their help. First, Naik mentioned that Chawla shifted base to London and absconded from India as he was wanted in the infamous 2000 match-fixing case involving Hansie Cronje.
Thereafter, he highlighted the fact that extradition proceedings formally commenced in 2013. The DCP Crime Branch noted that the Indian side continued to persevere despite facing initial setbacks. Naik also mentioned that Chawla’s appeal had been rejected at multiple forums including the European Commission of Human Rights.
“Today, we have achieved a big success. We have done a lot of hard work in the last few years. We have achieved a milestone thanks to the help of the Home Ministry, External Affairs Ministry, Indian High Commission- London and UK High Court. A case was registered in November 2000 pertaining to cricket match-fixing. During the investigation, three people were arrested and three others were absconding.”
“Former South Africa captain Hansie Cronje was also involved in this. Sanjeev Chawla was an Indian citizen. He shifted his base to London. After this, he never came here. In 2013, the chargesheet was filed in this case.”
“The Delhi Crime Branch was trying hard for his extradition. In this regard, the Home Ministry and the External Affairs Ministry has helped us a great deal. In 2013, the extradition proceedings were started by Delhi police through proper channels. A request was filed in the Westminster Magistrate Court. Initially, this court had discharged him.”
“We filed an appeal against this order in Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court, London. After this, we were asked for some clarifications. On January 7, 2019, District judge, Westminster Magistrate Court recommended Sanjeev Chawla to be extradited. Then, Sanjeev Chawla appealed. In the meantime, the UK Secretary of State had issued extradition order.”
“He also approached the European Commission for Human Rights. He got no relief there. I, along with my two colleagues went to London twice. On February 12, the Metropolitan Police handed Chawla’s custody to us at the Heathrow airport. Today, we brought him here. He was produced before the Patiala House Court today and we got 12 days custody.”