London: Alleged bookie Sanjeev Chawla, who is wanted in India on charges of match-fixing dating back to 2000, has filed an application in the UK High Court seeking leave to appeal against his extradition order by Westminster Magistrates’ Court here.
UK home secretary Sajid Javid had signed off on the District Judge’s order in favour of the extradition last month, giving 50-year-old Chawla 14 days to seek an appeal against the decision.
Chawla, a key accused in the cricket match-fixing scandal involving former South African captain Hansie Cronje in 2000, filed the application within the 14-day time-frame, the UK Home Office confirmed Thursday.
“On February 27, 2019, the Secretary of State (Javid), having carefully considered all relevant matters, signed the order for Sanjeev Chawla’s extradition to India,” a Home Office spokesperson said.
The spokesperson said Chawla has since ‘sought leave to appeal against the decision of the District Judge’, adding as the matter is sub-judice it would ‘not be appropriate to comment further’.
Chawla’s application for leave to appeal will be assessed by a High Court judge and set for a hearing if it is accepted.
However, if the application is rejected, Chawla could file a second request seeking a shorter oral hearing for his legal team to lay out the grounds against his extradition.
In a judgment handed down in the Royal Courts of Justice in London in November last year, Lord Justice Leggatt and Justice Dingemans upheld the Indian government’s appeal and directed the District Judge at Westminster Magistrates’ Court to review the order against Chawla.
The High Court judges accepted the assurances provided by the Indian government that the accused will be accommodated in a cell to be occupied exclusively by him, with proper ‘safety and security’ and complying with the ‘personal space and hygiene requirements’ the court expects.
India had also made further guarantees on medical facilities and protection from intra-prisoner violence in the jail.
In January this year, the lower court issued a fresh order in favour of Chawla’s extradition, which was sent to the UK home secretary, who formally signs off on the order under the India-UK Extradition Treaty.