Last week, amid claims and counterclaims, the CBI raided the office of an officer of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in a corruption case. Clearly, the Chief Minister was far from impressed. In his response to the raid, Kejriwal spoke to the media stating that the raid was apparently devised at the behest of Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitely. Kejriwal alleged that the CBI wanted a report of the commission that had probed on his instructions corruption in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA), which Jaitley had presided over until 2013. The Union Minister was sharp to respond to Kejriwal’s comments. Jaitley argued that the UPA Government-ordered SFIO investigation, which had probed into BJP MP Kirti Azad’s allegations against the DDCA, had not found a “shred of evidence” against him. In fact, the report concluded that, “thus, in a nutshell, there are certain irregularities / non-compliance or technical violations, but no fraud (was) noticed as alleged”. Kejriwal, he added, had raised these allegations to deflect media attention from allegations of corruption in the Aam Aadmi Party government.
Irrespective of the allegations and counter-allegations, the DDCA has been party to large scale financial irregularities, according to various media reports. These allegations were primarily against SP Bansal and Amit Khanna, who had held the President and General Secretary chairs of the association respectively. The list of allegations is rather long. However, it began with irregularities in the election of the Sports Working Committee of DDCA. Reports indicate that there was a strict bias in the selection of candidates. They further added that private cricket academies were too being run under the supervision of the DDCA. Moreover, there was no scope for students of schools and colleges to participate in the league matches of DDCA. Other allegations include illegal payments to multiple companies with same addresses and directors, contracts awarded without quotations and nepotism. However, the list of corrupt activities within the DDCA does not end there.
Other irregularities include the permission given for the illegal construction of galleries within the stadium without any written approval from the Municipal Corporation of Delhi. It was further discovered that it was sub-let for 10 years for a sum of 36 crores without any prior information to people concerned. In spite of all these allegations, prosecutions in the case against the accused have not been forthcoming. Suffice to say, Indian cricket is a multi-party politician dominated racket and the SFIOinvestigation could have been an eye-wash. The US FBI had used the fact that FIFA jurisdiction extended over American soccer to open the can of worms that toppled Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini. A similar foray into cricket, however, seems unlikely.