In a first high-profile extradition case of its kind under the India-UK Extradition Treaty (1992) -- the biggest and most infamous match-fixing case involving former South African cricket captain Hansie Cronje is all set to take a decisive turn with the extradition of UK based businessman Sanjeev Chawla within next four weeks. Chawla had alleged to have played a central role in conspiring with Cronje to fix a South African tour to India in February-March 2000 is expected to be booked on a flight to New Delhi in the next few days once the formal paperwork is completed. According to reports, Chawla has exhausted his rights to appeal in British Courts losing a last-ditch appeal on human rights grounds against former UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid’s extradition order at a hearing in the Royal Courts of Justice in London last Thursday.
According to reports, a UK Home Office spokesperson has reportedly said: “The Secretary of State signed the order for Sanjeev Chawla’s extradition to India in February 2019. He has now exhausted his rights to appeal. Once the final orders from the court have been received, arrangements will be made for his extradition to take place within 28 days."
Following an extradition trial in October 2017, Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London had concluded that while Chawla had a prima facie case to answer, his human rights could not be guaranteed in Tihar. This ruling was challenged in the High Court by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), arguing on behalf of the Indian authorities.
In a judgment handed down in the Royal Courts of Justice in London in November 2018, a two-judge panel upheld the Indian government’s appeal and directed the District Judge to review the order against Chawla and proceed with an extradition order.In January last year, the magistrates’ court issued a renewed order, which was sent to then Home Secretary Sajid Javid, who formally signed off on it as per the India-UK Extradition Treaty. Chawla, who has been present in Court during the various hearings over the last four years lost a final attempt at an appeal last week. Chawla moved to the UK on a business visa in 1996, where he has been based while making trips back and forth to India and after his Indian passport was revoked in 2000, he obtained a UK passport in 2005 and became a British citizen.