Court drops match-fixing charges against Delhi jeweller

Friday, February 18, 2011

NEW DELHI - Ten years after jeweller Mukesh Kumar Gupta was accused of fixing cricket matches and bribing cricketers, including then South Africa captain Hansie Cronje, the Delhi High Court Friday dropped all charges against him after investigations failed to find any evidence.

Justice Hima Kohli in her judgment relied on an order passed by Enforcement Directorate’s appellate tribunal and exonerated Gupta on merit.

“The high court quashes summoning of (Pawan) Kumar (Gupta) and also asks to drop criminal complaint against him,” said the high court.

The court was hearing Gupta’s petition for setting aside March 3, 2003, order passed by an additional chief metropolitan magistrate, summoning him to appear in court.

In 1999, Cronje, who later died in a plane crash in 2002, disclosed to the King Commission probing match-fixing allegations that he accepted $110,000 from Gupta.

The King Commission was set up in 2000 by the South African government to probe the match-fixing allegations against South African cricketers involving Gupta. The commission was formed after Delhi Police exposed match-mixing in the 1996-97 matches between India and South Africa.

On the basis of the commission report, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in 2000 sought to prosecute Gupta.

Later, Gupta was asked to pay a penalty of Rs.2 crore. He appealed before an appellate tribunal from where he got a stay and the ED was directed to refund the amount.

But the ED challenged the order and filed a criminal complaint against Gupta for cheating in a Delhi court. Gupta later approached the high court in 2003.

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