Ombudsman rejects DDCA VP’s claims

The NCCI-appointed ombudsman Justice (Retd.) A. P. Shah passed an interim order rejecting the claims of Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) vice-president C. K. Khanna’s representative to close the conflict of interest case.

Justice Shah had received an application from Gautam Dutta on June 17 detailing the various roles played by Khanna in the Board and the DDCA.   -  The hindu (file photo)

The NCCI-appointed ombudsman Justice (Retd.) A. P. Shah passed an interim order rejecting the claims of Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) vice-president C. K. Khanna’s representative to close the conflict of interest case.

Justice Shah had received an application from Gautam Dutta on June 17 detailing the various roles played by Khanna in the Board and the DDCA. Dutta had complained, “Khanna, apart from being the BCCI vice-president and chairman of the BCCI junior selection committee, was owner and directly associated with two affiliated cricket clubs of DDCA, namely Chand Khanna Cricket Club and N.K. Khanna Cricket Club, whilst also getting “nominated” to the selection committee of the Ranji Trophy cricket team.”

Replies by July 15

The ombudsman had subsequently issued notice of this complaint to the BCCI on June 17 and the DDCA on June 30. Justice Shah had directed Khanna and the DDCA to submit their replies by July 15.

According to the ombudsman, he received an email on July 5 from Dutta, who also happens to be a member of the DDCA’s Legal Cell, stating that, “in view of the facts shared and sufficiently clarified by the DDCA office-bearers coupled with the inputs received from the DDCA records, it has come to my knowledge that the facts and figures as reflected in my complaint against C. K. Khanna deserves a re-look. According to the backdrop of such revelations, I have no hesitation to acknowledge and declare with conviction that I personally deem it fit that the same be treated as closed and withdrawn in all its consequences.”

But a mail on July 11 from former India allrounder Kirti Azad, also a Member of Parliament, queered the pitch for Khanna and Dutta. “Mr. Azad referred to Mr. Dutta’s appointment as member of the DDCA’s Legal Cell and his appearance on behalf of DDCA even as late as July 11 in the High Court. Mr. Azad also relied on Justice Mukul Mudgal’s report on the DDCA, particularly pages 14 and 15, to make additional allegations against Mr. Khanna and the DDCA,” the interim order said.

Azad quoted Justice Mudgal’s report which termed Khanna as, “The most pernicious influence affecting DDCA’s administration. He excels in evading responsibility and claiming credit for an achievement by someone else.”

The Justice Shah order asserted, “The ombudsman would like to state that having already taken cognisance of Dutta’s application and issued notice on the same, Mr. Dutta is not at liberty to withdraw the application, especially in the light of the allegations made by Mr. Azad. Thus the request by Mr. Dutta for withdrawing the application is hereby rejected.”