New Delhi: The Congress on Wednesday demanded that alleged financial irregularities during Arun Jaitley’s tenure as chief of the Delhi and Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) should be probed by a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC).
“Indian National Congress draws attention of people of India to the farcical vendetta game and the diabolically convenient mutual side show being played with the sole aim of saving Shri Arun Jaitley and his colleague office bearers of DDCA from speedy inquiry and prosecution for serious financial irregularities,” the Congress said in a statement.
“We demand that Shri Arun Jaitley as chairman of DDCA and his team’s gross financial irregularities are inquired into by a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to arrive at the truth.
“Since the dramatic and crass threats of setting up a Commission of Inquiry by Delhi government are nothing but empty rhetoric owing to the fact that as per law, Delhi government does not have the power to do so without the approval of the LG and the Home Ministry, it will prima facie give Shri Jaitley a chance to sit pretty while wrangles over jurisdiction will typically continue. We also demand that pending the completion of inquiry through a JPC, Shri Arun Jaitley steps down, failing which the Prime Minister should sack him,” the statement added.
The Congress also listed a series of alleged wrongdoings during Jaitley’s tenure as DDCA chief from 1999 to 2013. According to the statement, most of the tenders for the re-construction work at the Ferozeshah Kotla Stadium during the period 2002-2007 were handed out to DDCA officials and the final cost of the project overshot the original contract by Rs.90 crore.
“In the year 2012, the Director, Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), Ministry of Corporate Affairs received complaints regarding financial irregularities in the construction of Ferozeshah Kotla Stadium by DDCA (a section 25 Non-profit Company).
“During the course of investigation the DDCA conceded that reconstruction of Kotla was carried out between 2002 to 2007. The initial budget was Rs.24 crore but eventually ended up costing Rs.114 crore. As per the investigation by the SFIO, the original contract was for Rs.24 crore. However, the final payment was made for Rs.114 crore,” it said.
“It was also revealed during the investigation that there was no record of tender for most of the contracts issued by DDCA for construction of the stadium. Many companies that were given contracts of construction and allied work of Ferozeshah Stadium were actually owned by the office bearers of the DDCA.
“DDCA has illegally constructed 10 Corporate Boxes in the stadium and have sub-leased these boxes for 10 years to corporates for a collective approximate amount of Rs 36 crore,” it added.
Alleging irregularities in DDCA accounts, the statement went on to say that a report by the association’s internal fact finding committee also pointed out huge corruption by officials.
“The DDCA constituted an internal Fact Finding Committee on 13.12.2014 which only inquired into the affairs of DDCA for the limited period of year 2013-14. Even for this limited period, the Committee found that there is evidence of huge financial irregularity,” it said.