The three-member panel set up by the Delhi government last month to probe the financial irregularities in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) had published a report that made certain observations regarding embezzlement of funds, money laundering, irregularities relating to memberships and proxy system, over-age fraud and also questioned the role of various DDCA officials.
While the allegations against the DDCA were during and after finance minister and former DDCA president Arun Jaitley’s tenure, nowhere has the report mentioned his name or direct involvement in any of the issues raised. Although the probe committee has explained its findings in a step-by-step manner, there is no allegation made against Jaitley.
After the report was put in public domain, the finance minister had said in Parliament, “These issues might have taken place under my presidency but that does not say that I was directly involved in any of the matters.” Even after he had made his stand clear, the Delhi government continued raising questions about his involvement and demanded his resignation from the Cabinet.
One of the biggest issues that eventually led to investigations on the DDCA’s functioning was the construction of the Ferozeshah Kotla stadium, whose budget had escalated from Rs 24 crore to Rs 114 crore. The report under the title ‘Payments regarding construction of Ferozeshah Kotla stadium’, a copy of which is with HT, said there is unauthorised construction (in the DDCA) without requisite permissions from the MCD and Delhi Urban Arts Commission. It also said that the DDCA had constructed the corporate boxes without appropriate approvals from the municipal authorities and Ministry of Urban Development.
Forged age certificates was another issue that the 72-page report mentioned. It said that an FIR reflects the fact that forged age verification certificates are being prepared and accepted in a systematic manner by the DDCA in collusion with a school in Rohini to allow overage players to play in younger age groups. The investigation in the FIR is pending, though.
The report titled ‘Inspection by committee set up by Ministry of Corporate Affairs including SFIO’ said that the DDCA had a weak internal control system, non-maintenance of fixed assets registers, major transactions in cash over Rs 20,000 and transactions and payments of directors/members without approval of board of directors or Central Government.
Principal secretary Chetan Sanghi, who headed the Delhi gover nment probe, did not want to comment on the issue. However, AAP leader and one of the three members of the probe panel, Rahul Mehra, said that Jaitley should be summoned in court. “Prima facie evidence shows that there was a huge amount of bungling. There has to be a free, fair and transparent investigation against all officebearers, including Mr Arun Jaitley, who held the top office. The needle of suspicion falls on all office-bearers, including the top office-bearer, Mr Jaitley. He has signed on all documents, including the balance sheets. There were contracts given out without proper tendering and it goes against the law,” said Mehra.
Mehra, who is the standing counsel of the Delhi government in high court, added that, “Manmohan Singh was summoned by court in ‘Coalgate’ scam because he was the top office-bearer and everything happened under his nose even though he wasn’t directly involved.”