Questions over conflict of interest within the BCCI have cropped up once again with the appointment of former Delhi Police commissioner Neeraj Kumar as the chief advisor of its Anti-Corruption and Security Unit.
Records maintained by the Registrar Of Companies (ROC) have linked Kumar’s younger daughter Ankita, a screenplay writer, to at least three business entities promoted by IPL governing council chairman Rajeev Shukla’s wife Anurradha Prasad.
Ankita is listed as a director in E24 Glamour Limited, according to the company’s latest filing with ROC, for the financial year ended March 31, 2014. ROC records also show that Ankita was a director till 2013 in two other companies promoted by Prasad — Skyline Radio Network Limited and News24 Broadcast India Limited.
When contacted, Shukla and Prasad maintained that Ankita had resigned from all positions linked to the three companies. Kumar, whose appointment was announced by the BCCI on Monday, blamed “an oversight” for his daughter’s name being linked to companies promoted by Shukla’s wife, and said that he would “take up the matter”.
The BCCI has been criticised in the past for several such cases of conflict of interest involving its senior officials. The last such instance, of its former president N Srinivasan also owning a franchise in IPL, led to the Supreme Court stepping in early this year and blocking the top official from contesting the board elections until he gave up his role with Chennai Super Kings.
Kumar and Shukla hold posts that are key to fighting corruption in Indian cricket, especially with the spectre of spot-fixing and betting continuing to loom over IPL.
Kumar was the Delhi Police chief when three cricketers, including S Sreesanth, were arrested for alleged spot-fixing and betting in the 2013 edition of the IPL. It was following this controversy that Shukla quit as IPL chairman before being appointed once again to the top job this month.
According to the latest filings of E24 Glamour Limited with ROC, assessed by The Indian Express, “there are three directors in the company viz. Ms Anurradha Prasad (DIN-00010716), Ms Ankita Kumar (DIN-02152600) and Mr Ajit Anjum (DIN-01472920)”.
“It is true that Ankita held the position of director in three companies of which I am also a director. However, she has since resigned,” Prasad said.
When told that Ankita’s name was still listed as a director with E24 Glamour Limited in the latest ROC filings, Prasad said: “As we are a broadcasting company we have to inform the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting about the appointments and resignations of our directors. We have done so in Ankita’s case. However, we have not received an acknowledgment yet and hence her name appears as a director of E24 Glamour Limited.”
Shukla claimed that Ankita used to work for firms promoted by his wife but resigned in 2010-2011. “She used to work with Anurradha as a director till about four years ago, but she got married after that and is no longer part of any of the companies,” Shukla said.
But ROC records show that Ankita was a director of Skyline Radio Network Ltd in June 2013 and held a similar position with News24 Broadcast India Ltd till March 31, 2013.
When contacted, Kumar said that Ankita was a director in News24 Broadcast India Ltd for a short while in 2011, at a time when he was Director General (Prisons) in charge of Tihar jail.
“When I got to know that she was a director of News24, I told her to quit the post immediately. Currently, my daughter holds no position as director in any of the companies that you have mentioned. An oversight may have resulted in her being listed as director,” Kumar said.
When informed that the latest company filings with ROC show that Ankita was still a director with E24 Glamour Limited, of which Prasad is also a director, Kumar said that he would “take up the matter” with the company concerned.