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Cars, gold coins, gold jewellery for BCCI members: Will the Lodha Panel investigate?

India Today logo India Today 27-10-2016

There can be more bad news coming for the already under fire BCCI struggling to cope with the terms and conditions of the SC's interim order on 21 October. If sources within the BCCI are to be believed, the BCCI is now worried that the Lodha committee will ask for the Deloitte audit reports on the functioning of each state association till 31 March 2015 and if the committee gets its hand on them a pandora's box will be opened. "If they get these and place them before the Supreme Court there is every likelihood of a new investigation being launched into the affairs of the BCCI and the state associations. The Deloitte report/s on the functioning of some associations are just damning", said a very senior functionary of the BCCI and one in the know of things.

For the record, the reports are now in the safe custody of Amarchand Mangaldas the BCCI's legal advisors.

Sources have confirmed to India Today that some of the associations like Goa, Hyderabad, Kerala, Assam, Jammu and Kashmir and Orissa will immediately come under the SC's scanner if the report is made public soon. "In Goa the association had bought 18 cars which were being used by the Managing Committee members for their own personal needs. The cost of petrol and other maintenance was also being billed to the association and this had been going on for months," stated the source.

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This is not all. In Hyderabad the managing committee members were given gold coins and their wives gold jewellery during a tender process. "Every managing committee member received a gold coin and their wives jewellery and this too is documented. Besides there are unaccounted loans and payments in the tune of crores and there is no record of how and why these monies were paid or taken".

Going further South, Kerala cricket association is said to have built a land bank without any proper due diligence and has entered into contacts with private individuals without any tenders being put out. Also, they have bought mangrove land worth 30 plus crores, which under environmental rules can't be used for cricketing purposes. "In effect this money is wasted", suggested a senior BCCI functionary.

Orissa, Jammu and Kashmir and Assam are the other associations that will immediately come under the scanner. In Orissa the books of accounts, if sources are to be believed, continued to be hand written till recently! "In an age of e-filing and transparency, this is quite unheard of," said a BCCI official who has read the report on Orissa and is privy to its findings.



Finally, Assam, which has very limited funds in its coffers, begs asking the question what happened to the many crores advanced to it by the BCCI in the last few years. "Assam was paid 60 crores as loan by the BCCI a couple of years earlier and unfortunately there are no records of how the monies were to be paid back. No detail is available on why the loan was advanced in the first place and how the monies are to be returned. We really don't know what has happened to this large sum of money," said the BCCI official. 

For an institution that disburses public functions according to the Supreme Court, nothing can be more damning than these startling observations made in reports by a reputed firm. What also needs asking is why has the BCCI, which claims to have accepted transparency and accountability as its mantra, not made these reports public? If it puts every expense above 50 lacs on its website why haven't these reports been put up online? Why should the public at large not know what has gone on and how is it that people who have indulged in these acts of unethical practise have been allowed to continue in office?

Clearly, it is the need of the hour that the Lodha Committee, who have now been empowered by the SC to appoint an independent auditor, asks for these reports and brings them before the public at large. Scrutiny should happen into how public funds have been spent and why and how people have been spared for the longest time. There is little doubt that the SC, which has already done much cleansing, needs to do more if the BCCI really needs to become transparent and accountable. We haven't surely seen the end of this long drawn saga.

Watch: SC curbs financial powers — BCCI running out of options?

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