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DDCA probe chief faced pressure to name ‘a certain VIP’ in report

delhi Updated: Jan 10, 2016 08:30 IST
Shishir Gupta
Shishir Gupta
Hindustan Times

File photo of the Ferozshah Kotla Cricket Ground that is owned and operated by the Delhi District Cricket Association. (HT File Photo)

The Delhi government’s vigilance chief and chairman of inquiry into Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA) affairs, Chetan B Sanghi, wrote to Union home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi last month hinting that he was being pressured by several interested stakeholders to name certain individuals, including “a certain VIP”, in his report on alleged wrongdoings and irregularities in the private cricket body.

Although Sanghi does not mention his name, the identity of the “VIP” mentioned in his letter is believed to be a reference to Union finance minister Arun Jaitley. As it happens, the 248-page report Sanghi submitted last November does not name the top BJP minister for any wrongdoing despite the alleged pressure.

The 1988 batch UT cadre IAS officer — who at one time was the most powerful bureaucrat with charges of PWD, industries, vigilance, law, civil services board in Delhi — is currently on leave after the anti-corruption bureau (ACB) filed two FIRs against him during his 2010-2012 tenure as chairman of the Delhi State Industrial And Infrastructure Development Corporation (DSIDC). He was appointed by the Arvind Kejriwal government as chairman of the DDCA inquiry with secretary education Punya Srivastava and lawyer Rahul Mehra as members on November 12, 2015 and submitted a report three days later.

Both, the report and Sanghi’s letter, have been accessed by HT.

Read| Centre’s opinion not binding, DDCA probe will continue: Kejriwal

The Aam Aadmi Party led by Delhi chief minister Kejriwal has targeted Jaitley for alleged corruption in the DDCA during his tenure as president of the cricket body and demanded his resignation from the Union government. Suspended BJP MP Kirti Azad and the Congress have also used the DDCA stick to hit at the top BJP leader. Jaitley, on his part, has filed defamation cases against AAP leaders in Delhi courts.

In his letter to the home secretary on December 28, 2015, Sanghi said: “There was a lot of pressure from various stakeholders since the subject was very controversial. There were a lot of yesteryear cricket luminaries who were very vocal about the alleged mismanagement in DDCA… The complaints were pouring thick and fast and many of these were from important people and had allegations by name. There was considerable emphasis on naming who were at fault and in particular a certain VIP.”

While seeking Mehrishi’s help for deputation to the central government, Sanghi wrote that the two FIRs against him should be closed by the home ministry as the ACB has got the information due to non-receipt of which the penal action was taken against him. Although the ACB had been investigating Sanghi four months before the DDCA inquiry, the letter to the home secretary hints that he had been a victim of political vendetta.

Sanghi wants the home ministry to waive off his debarment from the central government. This action was initiated by the Centre in April 2015 as he did not join the department of women and child development from Puducherry within the stipulated time.

Read| Kejriwal made false statements to malign me: Jaitley tells Patiala court