An internal Delhi & Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) probe panel has found two top officials, the DDCA's Sports Secretary, Sunil Dev, and the Sports Working Committee convenor, Vinod Tihara, guilty of acts of "irregularity" and "impropriety".
The three-member committee, comprising Chetan Chauhan, Anil Jain and SS Sareen, probed the role of the two officials in the controversial conversion of the Syndicate Bank Cricket Club, an institutional club affiliated to the DDCA, into a private club, Syndicate Cricket Club, and in other issues related to 'sick' institutional clubs.
The committee writes that the "Sports Committee, under the chairmanship of Sunil Dev, is working unilaterally and arbitrarily, and has taken decisions that are detrimental to the working of the association."
The report, a copy of which is with the Hindustan Times, has indicted Dev for taking a 'decision on his own to convert the Syndicate Bank Cricket Club into a private club merely on the basis of a letter of Assistant General Manager of the Bank to its employee Bhola Shankar'. It states that the Sports Secretary should have written officially to the bank before changing the name of the club and, in effect, privatising it.
Moreover, the committee notes, the authority to change the name and affiliation of the club rests only with the DDCA's executive committee.
The committee said that Dev represents the executive committee as chairman of the Sports Working Committee, and it's his responsibility to see no action is taken by the Sports Working Committee that clearly impinges on the authority of the executive committee. "So in cases where names and affiliations of the clubs have been changed without reference to the executive committee, the sports secretary has failed to fulfil his constitutional responsibility," the committee notes.
In Tihara's case, the indictment is even more serious. Tihara refused to appear before the panel despite several reminders, but it has questioned his role in the 'fraudulent' bank account opened in the name of Syndicate Cricket Club. "The account was opened by Patiram Goniyal, Manish Tihara, a relative of Vinod Tihara, and Bhola Shankar. The account was opened with the tacit support and connivance of Vinod Tihara, and he cannot shy away from the responsibility of this illegal act."
It will be interesting to see what action the DDCA executive takes on these findings. Both Dev and Tihara are in clear violation of their own rules for the Termination of Membership (20 b). The clause states that if any member is guilty of conduct that harms the interests of the association, such member shall be liable to expulsion on the vote of two third of the members present at the special meeting of the executive committee.