The report of the three-member inquiry set up by the Delhi government to probe the affairs of the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) which was held out by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal to have made out a strong case against Arun Jaitley, does not even mention the finance minister.The report has not found any act of fraud or wrong-doing by Jaitley in his capacity as DDCA chief.
The 247-page document points to issues relating to the reconstruction of the Kotla stadium like alleged irregularities in the construction of corporate boxes, but does not speak of any financial embezzlement during Jaitley’s tenure.
Kejriwal and Aam Admi Party leaders said the recent CBI raid at the Delhi secretariat was intended to seize the inquiry report that revealed Jaitley’s role in irregularities at the DDCA.
“It has become necessary to reveal that why did the CBI come to my office today and which was the file they were looking for. This is the DDCA file under which Arun Jaitley is getting trapped. (Ye file hai DDCA ka file jiske andar Arun Jaitley phas rahe hain),” the Delhi Chief Minister had said.
Kejriwal said, “Jaitley was the DDCA president for many years and I had set up a committee to probe all the corruption that has taken place during his tenure. The committee has submitted its report and a commission of inquiry was to be set up over it, and a file pertaining to it was in my office.”
However, the report of the three-member probe panel does not mention Jaitley’s name even once.
In fact, Annexure II, which mentions officials interviewed during the probe, doesn’t mention the minister either.
In another annexure, Jaitley’s name does crop up once. Election commissioners Babu Lal and G P Thareja supervising the sports working committee election have hinted about non-cooperation from Jaitley-led DDCA with an investigation into the affairs of a local club.
“We have noted herein that the resolution of the Executive Committee under the presidentship of Arun Jaitley dated 30/5/2012, provided to us by the parties and not by the DDCA in spite of our asking,” read the document. “We demanded the records as to what was the fate of the committee constituted by the executive committee of the DDCA under the chairmanship of Arun Jaitley. We were supplied no records,” it said of its probe of the legitimacy of a club known as KN Colts.
That’s all so far as Jaitley is concerned.
Officials in Delhi government, when contacted, disputed that the report has given a clean chit to Jaitley, saying that the particular report was not meant to look into accusations against particular persons. “The report is self-explanatory. It was about pin-pointing irregularities, not about identifying people. The committee did not have the mandate to examine and establish the guilt of a person. Hence there is no mention of Jaitley. It has recommended action and further probe which is why the inquiry commission has been set up,” said an official.
But there is no explanation as to why CM Kejriwal could claim that the report had found damning evidence of corruption against Jaitley.
The Delhi government’s probe committee was set up after now suspended BJP MP Kirti Azad and former India captain Bishan Singh Bedi approached Kejriwal to look into the matter.
The probe looked into alleged over-spending on renovation of the Ferozeshah Kotla stadium. The allegations have been replied to by the DDCA by submitting accounts and bills.
The report also talks about the alleged round-tripping of money by incumbent president SP Bansal. DDCA has investigated the matter.
Jaitley has pointed out that the incident happened after he relinquished his chair as DDCA president.
The three-member committee also went into the alleged age-fudging in junior cricket, non-payment of cricketers’ dues, legal complaints filed by office-bearers against each other. It also talked about the technical deficiencies in the stadium, which included disaster management and damaged sewer lines of Delhi Jal Board.
DDCA, on its part, has refused to recognize the report since the association is registered under section 25 of the Companies Act, which is under the purview of the Centre.
DDCA officials have now raised questioned marks on the objectivity of the report, which also claimed the Indian cricket board (BCCI) was reluctant to clean up the mess in Delhi cricket. “If it is an attempt to clean up the association, why didn’t we get a copy of the report? They probed us and found issues. They should have sought an answer from us,” said Chetan Chauhan, DDCA’s working president.
BCCI sources, meanwhile, said the Delhi government had not sent a copy of the report even to them. “Why don’t they sit with us and talk it out if they have come upon any irregularities,” said a source.
PWD secretary Chetan Sanghi, who was part of the three-member committee that prepared the report, could not be reached for comments though sources said that the committee had been given a specific mandate which was to prepare “summary of the irregularities/wrong-doings, if any, by the DDCA, its officials and members” and give “suggestions for revamping the DDCA to promote cricket in Delhi”.
Officials in Delhi government disputed that the report has given a clean chit to Jaitley, saying that the particular report was not meant to look into accusations against particular persons. There is no explanation as to why CM could claim that the report had found damning evidence of corruption against Jaitley.