Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) alleged on Wednesday that Arun Jaitley as president of Delhi and District Cricket Association had tried to interfere in a police investigation linked to the sports body, demanding his resignation from the union cabinet.
AAP spokesman, Ashutosh, alleged at a news conference that the union finance minister had misused his constitutional position as Opposition leader in the Rajya Sabha by writing to the then Delhi Police commissioner, BK Gupta, and special commissioner Ranjit Narayan, in 2011 and 2012 respectively, in connection with a case linked to the DDCA-affiliated Syndicate Bank Club.
Ashutosh released copies of the two letters written on DDCA letterhead, purportedly by Jaitley.
In an October 27, 2011 letter addressed to Gupta, Jaitley, who was DDCA president from 1999 to 2013, is quoted as saying: “Some persons have been repeatedly approaching Delhi Police with complaints in relation to the identity of the Syndicate Bank Cricket Club.
“The complaints are completely unsubstantiated and do not disclose any offence. Certain office-bearers of DDCA are feeling harassed by repeated questioning in this regard. I would request you to look into this matter so that it can be fairly dealt with and closed since the DDCA has done no wrong,” it further quotes Jaitley as saying.
“Is it not misuse of your constitutional position as leader of Rajya Sabha, interfering in a criminal investigation?” Ashutosh asked. “Being an eminent lawyer yourself, can you deny that your action amounts to directly obstructing police investigation. And on what basis did you conclude that the complaint regarding Syndicate Bank Club were unsubstantiated and disclosed no offence?”
DDCA claims that in 2005, the club belonging to the nationalised Syndicate Bank was converted into a private club. The bank had written to one Bhola Shankar, allowing him to run it as a private club. Subsequently, the bank reversed its position and Shankar agreed to hand the control back to the Bank.
The AAP spokesman asked: “What was your interest in trying to derail the investigation, and did you reveal your action in the next DDCA AGM?”
In a press release at the news conference, AAP argued that it was a very serious matter considering the clout Jaitley wielded in the central government and that the Delhi Police reported to the centre.