The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday stated before the Delhi High Court that they would not violate the assurances given to the United Kingdom government for the extradition of Sanjeev Chawla, the key accused in the 2000 cricket match-fixing scandal involving late South African captain Hansie Cronje.
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain, appearing for the MHA, submitted before Justice Anu Malhotra, that Chawla would be in Tihar jail and he will be questioned inside the premises. Only if there was an ’emergent situation’ would Chawla have to move out of the Tihar jail, that too after taking prior permission of the court, the ASG added.
“He (Chawla) has not been brought here for picnic at Tihar. He has been extradited to corroborate with the evidence and to unearth the entire conspiracy of match-fixing, involving other co-accused,” the ASG contended. Senior counsel Vikas Pahwa and advocates Vineet Malhotra and Hemant Shah, appearing for Chawla, opposed the same and submitted that, while seeking extradition, “diplomatic assurances were given by the Government of India to the Government of UK”.
“As per Letter of Assurance of Government of India, the accused has to be kept at Tihar Jail Complex during the pre-trial detention and in the event of prison sentence upon conviction,” Pahwa argued.
Opposing the same, ASG Jain argued, it (the government) never gave any assurance to the UK authorities that no further investigation will be carried out in the case.
He contended that the purpose for which he (Chawla) has been extradited would not be met. “It should not be that operation successful and the patient died,” the ASG added.
Hearing arguments from both the side, Justice Malhotra reserved the order on Chawla’s appeal against a trial court’s February 13 order remanding him to 12 days of police remand. The High Court, however, in its interim order on the next day cancelled the trial court’s remand order and sent Chawla to judicial custody at Tihar, till its further order.
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