On 22 January 2015, the Supreme Court appointed a committee comprising Justice RM Lodha, the former chief justice of India, and two other former judges of the Supreme Court. The court tasked the committee with looking into the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), and making recommendations on ways to reform the manner in which the latter conducts business. Among a number of reforms suggested was the emphasis on increasing accountability of state cricketing associations operating under the BCCI and an audit of their accounts. A few days before the court is set to deliver its final order on the Lodha reforms, the finances and management of the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA)—a state cricketing body under the BCCI—continue to be in shambles.
The DDCA’s management has not filed balance sheets for the past three years with the ministry of corporate affairs, and thus not many are entirely aware of the association’s actual financial state. The financial indiscipline on the part of the DDCA has continued despite the number of times it has been taken to task by several bodies. The Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), as well as an internal fact finding committee, a panel comprising of two former district court judges, a committee constituted by the Delhi government and a committee headed by Justice Mukul Mudgal have all commented on the state of mismanagement within the association.
This sort of scrutiny would be enough for any body to sort itself out, but the DDCA has done little in the way of course correction. In June, the association’s joint secretary Dinesh Saini told The Indian Express that the DDCA’s balance sheets of are not accessible even to the directors of the company, who in turn are left with little choice but to approach the courts with a plea to inspect accounts.
The state of the DDCA can be partly credited to the BCCI’s inaction against the indiscriminate and unaccounted splurging of funds.
The second source of the DDCA’s resistance is Arun Jaitley, the current finance minister and the minister for corporate affairs. Jaitley joined the DDCA in 1997 and by 1999 was its president. The SFIO report, the internal fact-finding committee and the Delhi government report have unearthed numerous instances of fiscal and procedural discrepancies during the 14 years Jaitley was as the helm of DDCA. While the reports contain little or no mention of his active involvement, allegations of him protecting corrupt DDCA officials have only grown louder over the years. The former cricketers Bishan Singh Bedi and Kirti Azad have been at the forefront of the campaign demanding probity and transparency in the manner in which the DDCA conducts business. Azad is a BJP MP, and was suspended from the party on 23 December for “anti-party activities.”