DDCA secretary Vinod Tihara in Meerut jail for the past one month

Tihara, an influential figure in the DDCA, failed to “comply with GST norms.”

Arun Jaitley Stadium, the headquarters of the DDCA.   -  R. V. Moorthy

Delhi and Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) general secretary Vinod Tihara is currently in jail for allegedly failing to “comply with GST norms” after going “incommunicado” amid speculation that he was self-isolating with symptoms of COVID-19.

“A Delhi resident named Vinod Tihara was arrested by Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) wing of Noida on March 17 on allegations of violations of GST norms and is currently in Meerut jail,” SSP Meerut, Ajay Sahni, told PTI.

There was no immediate clarity on the exact nature of the violation he has been accused of committing.

Tihara is Delhi cricket’s representative at the BCCI and an influential figure in the State’s cricket body. Tihara had been “unreachable” since mid-March leaving DDCA officials, including members of his faction, flummoxed. “For the longest time, we were under the impression that Vinod ji has tested positive for COVID-19. One or two people who contacted his family members were told that he is under isolation. His phone is switched off for the past one month,” a senior DDCA office-bearer told PTI.

‘Very suspicious’

During a recent online hearing in a matter of financial misappropriation of funds, organised by DDCA ombudsman Justice (Retd) Deepak Verma via Skype, one of the body’s lawyers, known for his proximity to Tihara, told the apex council members that he had tested positive for the novel coronavirus. “We all freaked out as we had met Tihara till March 15 at various places. We [asked him] why weren’t we informed as we all needed to quarantine ourselves.

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“He then changed track and said that if you people would have [contracted] COVID-19, then you would have known by now. It was very suspicious,” the Apex Council member who was suspended that day, said.

In fact, some of the members are now wondering how a letter signed by Tihara in support of one of the lawyers, whose service was being terminated, was submitted to the Ombudsman, when all this while he had been in jail. It is understood that because of the lockdown, his bail plea has been deferred.

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