BCCI ombudsman seeks written submission from Ganguly

BCCI Ombudsman Justice (Retd) D K Jain has sought a written submission from Sourav Ganguly and the three complainants in the alleged Conflict of Interest case against the the former India captain.

Ganguly said that the “meeting went off well” before leaving the premises.   -  AFP

BCCI Ombudsman Justice (Retd) D K Jain has sought a written submission from Sourav Ganguly and the three complainants in the alleged Conflict of Interest case against the the former India captain.

Three Bengal-based cricket fans -- Bhaswati Shantua, Abhijeet Mukherjee and Ranjit Seal -- had alleged that Ganguly’s duty as Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president is in direct conflict with his role as an advisor of IPL franchise, Delhi Capitals.

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The Ombudsman, who is also the Ethics Officer, heard senior Supreme Court advocate Biswanath Chatterjee and complainant Ranjit Seal as well as Ganguly for close to three and a half hours. “I have heard both the parties as well as the BCCI and will soon give my order. However since hearing is over as per principles of natural justice, both parties can give their written submissions before the final order is pronounced,” Justice Jain said after the meeting.

When asked if there is a timeline, he said: “Of course, there is a timeline. I can’t tell you what happened as the matter is sub-judice. But the order will come out soon.”

Ganguly, on his part, said that the “meeting went off well” before leaving the premises.

BCCI officials back Ganguly

The BCCI termed that the former India captain’s alleged conflict of interest comes under the ‘tractable category’ which could be sorted without much fuss and with “full disclosure“.

According to the BCCI’s constitution clause 38 (3) (a): “Tractable conflicts are those that are resolvable or permissible or excusable through recusal of the individual concerned and - or - with full disclosure of the interest involved.”

It is learnt that the Committee of Administrators (CoA) does not want Ganguly to be penalised if he makes “full disclosure“.

“Agreed that he resigned from IPL technical committee and Governing Council after the sub-committees were dissolved when new constitution came into force. Yes, he is still a part of Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) but that committee has met only twice in four years,” a senior BCCI official privy to the development said.

“How can we stop him from performing his professional activities as a cricketer? Let the Ombudsman decide as this could be sorted without any problem. If full disclosure is made, the BCCI sees no harm in continuing in all three posts. If Ombudsman feels otherwise, he may have to resign from two of three posts,” the official said.

However, if Ganguly is to resign from CAC, even Sachin Tendulkar (mentor, Mumbai Indians) and VVS Laxman (mentor, Sunrisers Hyderabad) could be forced to follow suit.

As far as adminstration is concerned, Ganguly’s six-year tenure before the mandatory cooling-off as an office-bearer will only end in July 2020.

In his deposition, Ganguly said that he is working in a voluntary role with the IPL franchise.

“Sourav, in his verbal submission, told the Ombudsman that he is not taking a single penny as DC advisor even though his name is there in the Team Officials’ list,” a source said.

However there was some deliberation as in his earlier affidavit, Ganguly had claimed his role in Delhi Capitals was “informal” and he had apparently “resigned” from CAC but it was found otherwise.

“The CAC still exists and he is a part of it and at the same time his name as a Team Official makes it clear that his role is not informal,” a source close to one of the complainants said.