Match fixing scandal: Court to hear arguments from January 18

New Delhi: A Delhi court has fixed January 18 next year for hearing arguments on framing of charges in the match-fixing scandal case of 2000 in which police has chargesheeted six persons, including former South African captain Hansie Cronje.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sanjay Khanagwal posted the matter for consideration on charge after the court was informed that copies of documents filed along with the charge sheet have been supplied to the accused.

"Accused number 6 Hansie Cronje is stated to have expired in an air crash on June 1, 2002 and the proceedings against him have been abated vide order dated July 23, 2013. Copies of documents have been supplied to the accused persons in the form of hard disk," the court noted in its order.

"Put up for scrutiny of documents/consideration on charge on January 18, 2016," it said.

The court had on July 23, 2013 taken cognizance of charge sheet filed by the Crime Branch of Delhi Police against six persons, including Cronje, in which it had alleged that he was paid Rs 1.2 crore in two instalments for fixing matches nearly 15 years back.

The names of Cronje's compatriot cricketers Herschelle Gibbs and Nicky Boje were left out from the charge sheet. The police, in its 93-page charge sheet, has named Cronje, Rajesh Kalra, Sunil Dara, Kishan Kumar, the brother of slain T-Series founder Gulshan Kumar, as accused in the case.

Kalra, Sunil and Kumar are presently out on bail. Besides them, Sanjeev Chawla and Manmohan Khattar were also named as accused in the case and police has chargesheeted them for alleged offences of cheating and criminal conspiracy under the IPC.

The court has abated the proceedings against Cronje, who was indicted by Kings Commission of Inquiry in South Africa, in view of his death in 2002.

Earlier, the police had informed the court that Chawla and Khattar were residents of UK and USA respectively and were hiding there and open non-bailable warrants have already been issued against them. In its charge sheet, police has claimed 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 was "sufficient evidence" to prove that accused had entered into a conspiracy to fix matches played here between India and South Africa in February-March 2000.

Referring to the report of Kings Commission of Inquiry, the police had alleged that 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 told the investigators that Chawla had paid Rs 1.2 crore to Cronje in two instalments of Rs 60 lakh each for fixing the matches. It had 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 contains 67 sets of documents, has named 65 persons as witnesses in the case. It had alleged that 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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