December 17, 2015 1:59:18 am
Escalating its confrontation with the Central government, the Congress on Wednesday targeted Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, seeking his resignation and setting up of a Joint Parliamentary Committee to probe “irregularities” in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA).
The Congress charge came a day after Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal alleged that CBI officials went through files relating to DDCA during its search at the office of his principal secretary. The Congress alleged that there were “gross irregularities” in the DDCA when Jaitley was its chairman between December 1999 and December 2013.
Senior Congress leader Ajay Maken made the allegations at a press conference. Quoting a government reply in Parliament, Maken said the government has “agreed that on the orders of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs on September 28, 2012, Registrar of Companies had inspected DDCA and found irregularities against four DDCA officers namely — Sunil Dev, Narender Batra, S P Bansal and C K Khanna”.
“It is further mentioned that these officers have applied for compounding of the offences, which have been forwarded to the Company Law Board. Now the question arises that the Company Law Board is looking at charges against officers of DDCA for irregularities during the time Arun Jaitley was the DDCA chief.”
“All these people are known for their proximity to Jaitley. How can we expect a fair probe when Jaitley himself is the Finance Minister… Our demand is that pending the completion of inquiry by a JPC, Jaitley should step down failing which the Prime Minister should sack him,” Maken said.
The Congress also released the report of a three-member committee set up by Kejriwal to look into irregularities if any by DDCA members and officials besides findings of a two-member commission constituted by a Delhi court and an internal fact-finding committee of DDCA.
Maken said virtually all enforcement authorities like ED, I-T, Revenue Intelligence, Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) directly report to the minister. “The same agencies are supposed to take action against DDCA for infraction of various rules and norms of the Companies Act and under criminal law,” he said.
He said the SFIO found that there was cost escalation in reconstruction of the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium. He said the initial budget was Rs 24 crore but eventually it went up to Rs 114 crore.
The BJP responded to the allegations, saying that the opposition party was using diversionary tactics to “cover up” its corruption. “These are simply diversionary tactics of Congress to cover up corruption cases facing its leaders. It is a baseless charge. Congress has formed an alliance of like-minded parties to protect the corrupt,” said BJP secretary Shrikant Sharma said.
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