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Delhi Test in doubt as CBI begins enquiry against DDCA

The fourth and final Test between India and South Africa scheduled at the Ferozeshah Kotla here from December 3-7 has run into jeopardy after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) swung into action and began preliminary enquiry into Delhi & District Cricket Association (DDCA) on Monday. The CBI began enquiry on several accounts of complaints made by former India World Cup-winning player Kirti Azad.

Further, DDCA’s problems have been compounded as Delhi government has also slapped a notice of Rs24 crore for evading entertainment tax over the last several years by underpricing ticket prices for the most coveted stands. This has come just days after Delhi government, led by Arvind Kejriwal, sealed DDCA bar for distributing liquor on Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary in 2013.

With CBI now initiating investigation on a number of complaints against Delhi’s cricket administrators over the illegal occupation of government land without a proper lease, it would be anybody’s guess that holding an international match would just be an impossible task under the circumstances.

dna has learnt that the entertainment tax has to be deposited immediately in order to hold a Test in December. But given the situation where DDCA is completely bankrupt and taking Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) condition that “money will only be released after submission of balance sheet”, it looks completely impossible that any international match could be held in Delhi.

It must be mentioned here that DDCA has not submitted the balance sheet for the year 2013-14 due to similar charges of corruption against top officials including president Sneh Bansal.

In fact, the Registrar of Companies (RoC) has also issued a notice on the complaint of Azad for round-tripping of Rs1.55 crore by president Bansal. The RoC has given a commitment to ruling party Member of Parliament Azad that “their probe and action against round tripping and embezzlement of money by DDCA office bearers will be completed by November 30”.

“Finally, my stand has been vindicated and all the political patronage that has helped DDCA to evade the consequences of their illegal actions has come to haunt them. The days of thuggery and loot of DDCA money are over. Law will take its course and I expect some of these office bearers, including the key management personnel, to be made accountable under the various provisions of Indian Penal Code,”Azad told this paper.

Azad, who is currently touring his constituency in Bihar on account of ongoing elections, also alleged that money to the tune of Rs400 crore has been looted by top DDCA officials in the last 15 years.

“By just paying a few lakhs of Rupees as compounding charges, DDCA office-bearers were trying to exploit the provisions of Companies Act and had quietly digested Rs400 crore over the last 15 years. It was shocking to see the manipulation of an august body, like Company Law Board, where an ex DDCA council was drafted in as a member Lok Adalat who in turn, compounded many applications of DDCA in just one day. It seemed that there was no law in this country and that these DDCA officials could take everyone including law enforcing agencies for a ride,” charged Azad.

Former India wicket-keeper batsman Surinder Khanna has also expressed satisfaction over CBI’s and Delhi government’s action against corrupt DDCA regime. “Delhi cricket has come to such a level where all the over-aged players have been roped into different age-group teams by sham selection committees. Hopefully, this will stop now and people who are responsible for bringing DDCA to such a level will be brought to justice,” said Khanna on hearing about CBI inquiry news.

“There is no system/ administration in Delhi cricket. It’s high time BCCI appointed a committee to run the affairs of cricket in DDCA in a transparent manner,” he added.

These are the accounts on which CBI has started pre-liminary enquiry:

Illegal occupation of government land in the form of ground and stadium without a proper lease.
Sub-leasing of corporate boxes to private companies like ONGC, Ganon Dunkerley and Reliance, etc.
Passing of fake bills, embezzlement and defalcation of public money
Round-tripping of money by president Sneh Bansal
Passing of sham accounts by auditor Sanjay Bhardwaj & Co against whom a case number 215 (3) has already been registered in local Tees Hazari courts
Selecting and playing over-aged players in different age-group teams of Delhi

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