Riding high after the arrest of three cricketers in spot-fixing in Indian Premier League, the Delhi Police are still struggling to file a chargesheet 13 years after having exposed match-fixing in 2000.
The cricketing world was shocked in 2000, when Delhi Police named then South African captain Hansie Cronje, who died later, his teammates Herschelle Gibbs and Nicky Boje in the match-fixing case.
Former Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin and his teammates Manoj Prabhakar, Ajay Jadeja and Ajay Sharma were also allegedly involved.
A top Delhi Crime Branch official said a chargesheet would be filed soon. “The case is still open and is pending investigation. We are working hard on it and we will soon file a chargesheet. We are awaiting the results from the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL),” the official said.
The sudden appearance of London-based bookie Sanjeev Chawla, who was the mastermind in the 2000 match-fixing case, has given Delhi Police some hope.
Chawla, who was arrested by the Scotland Yard in 2000 and released due to inadequate proof, was spotted by British authorities in 2008 and they had informed the Delhi Police. His passport has been revoked by the Indian government in 2000 and he has been changing hideouts in England.
Then Delhi Police commissioner KK Paul said, “We had a strong case against the accused. But we had to get lot of documents from England and South Africa and it took some time. I retired in 2007 and since then I have lost track of the case.”
Delhi Police registered an FIR against Cronje, Chawla, businessman Rajesh Kalra, late music baron Gulshan Kumar’s brother Kishan Kumar, and Sunil Dara, a Delhi-based bookie living in West Asia.
Kalra, Kumar and Dara were arrested but were released on bail. Two years later, Cronje died in a plane crash, making things difficult for the investigators.