MEMBERS OF the Delhi & District Cricket Association (DDCA) have questioned the distribution of complimentary passes for IPL games by Justice Vikramajit Sen, the High-Court appointed administrator in-charge at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium, including to income-tax officials, members of the judiciary and four each to seven of his own office staff.
For every IPL game, DDCA gets 7,000 passes from the Delhi franchise with Justice Sen having the discretionary power to issue them. Most of the passes are given to former players, clubs and underprivileged children.
In an email dated April 29 and addressed to Justice Sen, a former judge of the Supreme Court, the DDCA Members’ Forum convenor, Pramod Kumar Jain, wrote: “I wish to draw your kind attention to the distribution of complimentary passes which DDCA receives. There is no detail available as to how these passes were distributed for the two matches already held or who was made in-charge of the distribution and whether a record of the same has been kept.”
The letter states that “a rough calculation puts the amount of these passes at about Rs 60 lakh per match”.
Asked about these passes, Justice Sen told The Indian Express that the information was uploaded on the association’s website.
Records uploaded on the DDCA’s website show that among the others who were extended free hospitality for the home games of Delhi Daredevils included top officials from the Income Tax Department and members of the judiciary.
In a text message to The Indian Express, Justice Sen said that “it is also incorrect to say that marquee passes have been given only to the legal fraternity”. Top-end marquee seats at Kotla cost upto Rs 14,000 each, with the holder having access to the dinning area and the bar.
The DDCA website, under the head ‘Distribution of Complimentary Passes’ for 15th of April 2017’, says: “Various Government Authorities such as IT Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner, members of the judiciary, members of the inquiry committee constituted on behalf of DDCA (40 passes).” Further, it states: “Four tickets to each member of Justice Sen’s office (28).”
A similar list has been uploaded for the April 17 game.
The Supreme Court appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA), which runs BCCI, has been against what has been described as a “pass culture”. At the recently held BCCI Special General Meeting, the CoA rejected demands by office-bearers to release funds for buying IPL tickets that can be extended to VVIPs as complimentary passes.
”The BCCI had requested the CoA that we wanted to buy IPL tickets, which could be distributed as complimentary passes because there was a lot of pressure from those who wanted to be at the Delhi games. Eventually, the BCCI did not buy the tickets,” said acting BCCI president C K Khanna.
Jain had also alleged that the DDCA’s accreditation cards, which allow access to restricted areas were issued to those who were not part of the association’s IPL committees.
Countering the allegation, Justice Sen stated: “As regards accreditation, the same has been given only to those who have been actively involved in the preparation and execution of IPL and other crucial DDCA activities where they are required to have access to the stadium at all times.”