[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap]fter the CBI raid against his Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar on Tuesday, Delhi chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal might have overreacted by hurling invective against Prime minister Narendra Modi, but the astute AAP leader has created a smokescreen of confusion by alleging that the searches were part of bigger game plan to shield Finance minister Arun Jaitley in the multi-corer scandal involving Delhi District Cricket Association.
Jaitley was the President of the DDCA during 2010 and 2013 when a series of financial irregularities took place in the DDCA.
The DDCA owes a sum of Rs 24.46 crore ($3.66 million) to the Delhi government as entertainment tax. While the DDCA claims they enjoyed tax exemption, the state government has said there was no such concession granted to them. Cricket may be a rich game, but such is the sordid affairs of the DDCA that now it is nearly bankrupt and has no money to pay the Delhi government. The DDCA has not even finalised its account for the last year.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]K[/dropcap]ejriwal has not provided any evidence to prove his charges that the CBI came looking for papers related to DDCA scandal, but he has surely put the cat among the pigeons by raking up the allegations of massive corruption in the cricket body when Jaitley controlled it for ten years from 2003 onwards. If Rajendra Kumar can be raided for charges that he wrongly awarded contract for around Rs 9 cr ($1.35 million) over seven years, then questions will be raised as to why not raid the Finance minister when such massive irregularities took place in the DDCA during his ten-year uninterrupted tenure.
Despite trashing Kejriwal’s charges that CBI raids were linked to the DDCA scandal. Jaitley may find himself in a spot if the Delhi CM appointed a judicial commission, under the Commission of Inquiry Act, to go into the entire gamut of the DDCA scandal.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap] panel appointed by the Kejriwal Government has already come out with a scathing report that points to massive irregularities in the functioning of the DDCA — charges that several former cricketers including BJP MP Kirti Azad, former Indian captain Bishen Singh Bedi, and stars of yesteryears Madan Lal and Surinder Khanna among others have repeatedly raised
The Delhi government-appointed inquiry panel, that submitted its report last month, also recommended the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to place the DDCA under suspension for alleged financial irregularities and suggested that an interim committee of professional cricketers should manage the game in the capital.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]I[/dropcap]ncidentally, the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), under finance ministry had also pointed massive irregularities in the affair of the DDCA. It’s a different matter that Jaitley is the boss of the organization, and nothing has moved since then on its findings.
“The BCCI cannot continue to have a hands-off approach and should suspend DDCA as per the Memorandum and Rules and Regulations of the BCCI, Regulation 32 (vii) and streamline the administration of DDCA. In the interim, professional cricketers should manage the affairs of cricket in Delhi,” said the report of the committee.
The Delhi government appointed the inquiry committee after several top cricketers including Bedi, Madan Lal, Surinder Khanna and others met Kejriwal and sought his intervention to set right the mess in the DDCA.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]M[/dropcap]aking specific charges, the probe panel pointed out that DDCA president S P Bansal and General Secretary Anil Khanna made huge payments without following the financial manual and authentication.
“The magnitude and extent of improprieties, irregularities and misconduct committee by various officials mentioned in the report is quite complicated and gigantic,” the panel said.
The probe panel said the DDCA spent Rs 114 crores ($17 million) in the reconstruction of the Ferozshah Kotla stadium between 2002-2007 against a sanction budget of Rs 24 crore ($3.66 million).
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]I[/dropcap]n a damning finding, the panel said the DDCA illegally constructed 10 corporate boxes in the stadium and sub-leased them for 10 years to corporate for Rs 36 crores ($5.38 million).
The panel also said that the DDCA officials conspired to make averaged players play in age-group tournaments, depriving genuine players of their chances.
These are enough ground for the Kejriwal government to start judicial probe into the DDCA scandal. In such an eventuality, several decision taken by Jaitley and Co. are bound to come under scanner.
1. The conversion rate used in this article is 1 USD = 66.91 Rupees.
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