A day after television news channel owner Rajat Sharma’s panel swept the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) polls, chairman of the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA), Vinod Rai, Tuesday warned that the election results could be annulled because of ethical and constitutional inadequacies.
Rai told The Indian Express, “Since these DDCA elections took place without a constitution that is endorsed by the Supreme Court, it can get annulled at a later date.” The former CAG, along with former India cricketer Diana Eduljee, was appointed by the SC to implement the Justice RM Lodha recommendations. He also pointed to the DDCA’s failure in putting in place the Supreme Court-advocated checks and balances to avert possible conflict of interest situations.
“There are very strict conflict of interest norms laid down by the Lodha committee. The ombudsman and an ethics officer ensure that conflict of interest norms are not attracted adversely. These elections took place without the scrutiny of an ombudsman or an ethics officer, so there remains a question mark over the qualification of candidates to fight elections,” he said.
Incidentally, the DDCA election was held under the watch of the High Court-appointed administrator, Justice Vikramajit Sen, who took charge at Feroz Shah Kotla after an audit report found several cases of embezzlement and illegal transfer of funds by Delhi’s long-standing office-bearers.
While the election saw family members of several DDCA officials – some of them tainted – file nominations, the appointment of the ombudsman was done on the final day of polling.
Rai also said that there was nothing in the Supreme Court order that stops wives, brothers and sons of office-bearers from contesting, but, however, added that “there is an element of ethical inadequacy”. He said, “One should be guided more by the spirit of the law than the letter.”
Like the DDCA, most BCCI units are yet to include Justice Lodha’s observations in their constitutions. This was in the backdrop of the BCCI objecting to a few new clauses, the Supreme Court hearing their plea and asking for their suggestions in drafting the constitution. The matter related to the DDCA polls could come up in the Supreme Court hearing on July 5.