Match-fixing: Delhi HC quashes criminal proceedings against Gupta

The Delhi High Court has quashed criminal proceedings initiated by Enforcement Directorate for alleged FERA violation against a Delhi-based businessman who was named as an "influential bookie".

Last Updated: Feb 18, 2011, 22:07 PM IST

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has quashed
criminal proceedings initiated by Enforcement Directorate for
alleged FERA violation against a Delhi-based businessman who
was named as an "influential bookie" and had paid a huge
amount to late South Africa cricketer Hansie Cronje to fix
ODIs between India and South Africa in 1996-1997.
Justice Hima Kohli, in a recent order, set aside the
ACMM`s March 2003 summoning order against Mukesh Gupta, and
said that Gupta was discharged of all charges by ED`s Foreign
Exchange Regulation Act (FERA) appellate authority with regard
to the money transaction done by him and no criminal case
would be made out against him.

Gupta had approached the High Court seeking quashing of
criminal proceedings initiated against him before a lower
court in Delhi by ED.

CBI and ED`s probe into the match-fixing allegations
against Indian players, including Mohammad Azharuddin and
Manoj Prabhakar, on a reference from the Sports Ministry had
hinged very heavily on Gupta.

Gupta is also alleged to have got Cronje to throw away
a match when India had toured South Africa. ED had moved the
lower court against Gupta, citing certain findings against him
by CBI.
After he was sacked on April 11, 2000, Cronje had
claimed before the Edwin King Commission, probing the match
fixing scandal, that Gupta was his link to various Indian
players.

This was after Cronje, while confessing to his
connection with bookmakers, told the King Commission that
during the 1996 Kanpur test, Gupta had introduced to him by
Azharuddin, gave him 30,000 US Dollar to persuade the South
Africans to lose wickets on the last day to throw away the
match. India eventually won the match.

Gupta had contended before the court in his petition
that the recommendations and findings of guilt by a foreign
commission were only "recommendatory" in nature and not
binding on Indian courts.

PTI